Jim Struthers

It is with great sadness we are informing you of the death of Jim Struthers, October 23, 2016. He passed away in his sleep from heart failure.   It comforts us to think of him visiting with his mother and father and other family members who have passed on as well as playing guitar, again, with long- lost friends.

Jim was a gifted guitar player, entertaining family, friends, and anyone
else who happened by. He was an avid Chet Atkins fan!  He became adept at Atkins’ technique, was accomplished with classical music on the guitar, dabbled with flamenco, and had an additional, quite- varied repertoire.  He was thrilled to meet Chet in Nashville, became acquainted with some of his family and friends with who he enjoyed getting to know.

He was a talented linguist covering East Asian dialects, particularly Thai,
along with Russian, Spanish and German.  Jim was adept as a writer of life experiences, who, avoided publishing, but shared his works with friends and family.

Jim quietly touched many lives:  Translating for East Asian refugees, sponsoring a Laotian family, sharing recollections and photos with Army buddies or their families, or simply watching out for neighbor’s homes and pets while they were away.  He was a researcher of US and World history,

especially military and family history.  This interest began through a good
friend who was a WWII Flying Tiger veteran.  A recent research project

involved sending pictures he had taken in 1966-67 during the Viet Nam War to the mayor of the village in Thailand near his army base.  He received a heartfelt reply and current photos in return!

Consistent with his wishes, a private, close- family service was held at Tahoma National Cemetery, 18600 SE 240th St., Kent, Washington.    [Columbaria Wall: FE Row: Niche: 25]

Jim is survived by his sister, Judy, her husband Glenn Carrier; nephew Mark Swift and wife, Pam, grandnephew, Logan, and grandniece, Samantha, along with numerous cousins and many friends he made along the way.
Jim led a private, multifaceted life with worldwide acquaintances. The family would appreciate your remembrances on this public memorial web page.   Or  If you prefer, your private notes would be welcomed via E-mail:   jimstruthersremembrances@gmail.com.    The family thanks you for sharing and being a part of Jim’s Life.


8 Responses to “Jim Struthers”

  • Fes Cannady says:

    I did not know Jim personally. We shared a life experience by way of us having both served in the military in Thailand during the Vietnam era. He was Army and I was Air Force.
    Jim contacted me after seeing my ad on eBay to ask that I scan some of his slides for digital images. I am so proud to see some the pictures I scanned and restored for him on this page.
    We did speak on the phone and I found him to be very honest and interesting. I could tell that he was a sincere and caring person for all of humanity.
    Fes Cannady
    Aurora, Colorado USA

  • Joe Wilson says:

    Jim, we are saddened by word of your passing, yet glad you chose to be part of our online Veterans organization dedicated to helping Thailand Veterans of the Vietnam War in their battle for recognition by the VA.

    We salute you – Sawadee and RIP!


  • SFC David B. Brown says:

    I tried to send a reply to the family email site, it was returned.

    Can you forward this to his sister for me. I would like her to
    know he had a lot of friends.

    David B. Brown
    SFC, USA, Retired

  • Bill Wittenberger says:

    I met Jim in September 1961 at the University of Washington. My dorm roommate in my freshman year like Jim played the guitar and they had gone to high school together in Whittier, California. Jim started coming over to our room almost daily to practice his guitar. If Jim were still with us today he would cheerfully testify to my tone deafness, but he knew I enjoyed listening to the music. Our friendship grew out of this situation and continued all of these years. Up until Jim’s last week with us, we communicated about developments in our everyday lives. Jim had a humorous and satirical way with words. He was always coming up with some witty comment that would make me laugh a lot. I will miss him for this and much more.

  • Vawnita Hovet Best says:


    … I first tried emailing this to the provided gmail account and it came back …

    Thank you so much for sending the card and memorial announcement for Jim. He called me out of the blue in October. My phone recorded a conversation date of the 10th.

    He shared with me in that conversation that he and my dad were in Thailand together and that they shared a bunk for six months. He had been trying to track him down on the internet and bumped into his obituary online… and pieced together my contact from that discovery.

    I was driving when we connected by phone that day and because of the emotions that overtook me during our conversation I cut the call short and intended to call him back.

    I am so sorry that I didn’t handle that call differently. Did he know his time was near or was his death unexpected?

    My mom gave my sister and I CDs of my dad singing and playing guitar over in Thailand last year for Christmas that she had restored and transferred from a reel recording. He is harmonizing and playing guitar with an unidentified man. I am now wondering after reading Jim’s obituary if it is him.

    If you are up for email correspondence in the future or are interested in hearing the CD, I would be happy to send you a copy. My dad never, ever talked about his time serving in the Army. I knew his rank from the Veteran’s services foot marker on his grave and now from Jim’s picture with the 538 B flag, I have a better understanding of his service to his county.

    Thank you again for sending the memorial announcement. It is so greatly appreciated.

    Prayers of comfort to you and your family.

    Vawnita Best – Sent from my iPhone

  • shamira Nicolas says:

    I came to US as an exchange student from Iran in 1960. I met Jim along with the senior class of 1961 at California high school in Whittier California. The year I spent in US was one of the most thrilling, rewarding and fulfilling years of my life. Everyone at Calhi was more than kind to me. Fifty years later, in 2011, Calhi planned a fiftieth year reunion for the class of 1961. Jim was given the task of looking for me. He found me.

    Since my departure from US in 1961, slowly I lost contact with everyone in my class. I left Iran soon after returning to it from US and traveled and lived in different countries. The revolution in Iran had scattered many members of my family which had led to the loss of much of my personal belongings including my memorabilia from US, including my year book. I wrote Jim that I had lost my yearbook soon after leaving Calhi and could not remember names, faces or events without it. A week later Jim sent me his. That was the start of several years of correspondence until a couple of years ago when Jim’s health issues prevented him from writing back. Although Jim did not attend the 50th Calhi reunion, we became close, wrote to each other frequently and even talked on the phone several times.

    I am deeply saddened by his death. He was a dear and loving friend.

  • Mark Swift says:

    Hi All I messed up the e-mail address above. This is the correct one.
    jimstruthersremembrances(insert at sign here)gmail.com

  • Jacqui Luciano says:

    Jim transferred to California High School in Whittier at the start of our Senior class…a class of over 650 kids, many of them having been schoolmates since grammar school. Not an easy situation for Jim or anyone. Our paths never crossed until he started searching the internet to find our ‘missing’ classmates for our 50th reunion. Jim was a night owl, loved doing the research and was very successful! That’s when we became friends, and finally met each other when my husband and I were en route to see family in the Idaho Panhandle. He was always considerate, thoughtful, and interesting…and had a great sense of humor. A truly quality man. He was unique as he was intelligent, and as forgiving as he was grateful. I feel blessed to have called him my friend for the last 5 years of his life…he will be missed.

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