James F. Calhoon

Posted: Sunday, September 05, 2010

Former Alaskan and Juneau resident James F. Calhoon died Aug. 3 in Phoenix, Ariz. He was 84.

He was born Jan. 18, 1926 in Concordia, Kan., the son of Ceril Newton and Margaret Rachel (Maxey) Calhoon.

Jim joined the Navy at the age of 17, six weeks before high school graduation. He served in the South Pacific, was injured aboard a ship in the Marshall Islands during an enemy air raid and received an honorable discharge.

Jim married Betty L. Fuller in Seattle, Wash., in January, 1945. In 1949, he traveled to Fairbanks via the Alaska-Canadian Highway. After finding a job as a carpenter, he sent for his wife and daughter, Jeri. A son, Steve, was born in 1950 and another daughter, Becky, in 1954.

In 1955, Jim joined the Fairbanks Police Department. The following year, he became a territorial police officer. After statehood, he continued police work as an Alaska State Trooper. Jim graduated from the FBI Academy in 1963. In 1966, he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety for the State of Alaska by Governor Walter J. Hickel. He also served as Chief of Police in Cordova from 1974-1975.

After retiring from state service in 1972, he and Betty divorced. He married Nancy Etta Wells in Anchorage and worked in banking and as a custom home builder. In 1980, he started his own business and was associated with World Wide Group of Spokane, Wash., doing what he loved best - working with and mentoring people. Jim loved helping others reach their highest potential.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Richard.

He is survived by his loving wife and soul mate, Nancy E. Wells Calhoon; his sister Beth Morrissey (Patrick) of Baker City, Ore.; his brother Alan Calhoon (Kathy) of Salem, Ore.; Jerry Calhoon (Jane) of the Gig Harbor, Wash.; his daughter Jeri Kissner (Paul) of Juneau, his son Steve Calhoon of Boise, Idaho; his daughter Becky Iles (Fred) of Fairbanks; his daughter Becky M. Ohl of Phoenix, Ariz.; his son Michael Calhoon (Clare) of Seward; 10 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a very large extended family.

No services were held, per his wishes. He was cremated.

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