Originally Published: May 14, 2006 4 a.m.
J.D. James, 86, of Prescott went to be with the Lord on May 7, 2006, at the Prescott Valley Samaritan Center in Prescott Valley, Ariz. His beloved and faithful wife of 65 years, Billie, and son, David, were at his bedside. In addition to Billie and David, he is survived by two grandchildren, Bill (Heidi) and Jana; and three great-grandchildren, Joshua, Hailey and Rachel Anne. He is also survived by two sisters, Melba Bell and Peggy Lamberth. He was preceded in death by his brother, Buddy.
J.D. served in WWII as a medic in the famed 36th Division of the Fifth Army in Europe. He took part in Operation Avalanche, the invasion of Italy on Sept. 9, 1943, and was personally involved in the liberation of the concentration camps in the Dachau, Hurlach and Landsberg area. He was a true American hero as evidenced by being awarded two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, a WWII Freedom Medal and a special award from France.
Upon his discharge, he went to work for Sun Oil Company in Nederland, Texas. When he retired from Sun, he and Billie moved to Ruidoso, N.M., where he became very active in local and state politics. In 1996, they moved to Prescott to be near their only child, David and his wife, Oma.
There will be a memorial service May 20 at 2 p.m. at the Prescott Valley Samaritan Center, 3380 Windsong Drive, Prescott Valley, Ariz., 86314. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations made to the Center.
(Information provided by survivors.)
Millard H. Diesch ("Mill")
Born Jan. 4, 1940, in Walker, Minn., Mill grew up in rural Longville, Minn. where his parents, Ferdinand and Lu, owned and operated a resort on Little Boy Lake.
He and his parents and his sister Shirley also lived briefly in Iowa, Wisconsin, Texas and California, but most of their time was spent in Longville, part of Minnesota's Lake Country.
Attending Longville's elementary and high school, Mill went on to attend Bemidji State College in Bemidji, Minn., then enlisted in the military in January of 1962. After basic training in the Great Lakes area, Mill served aboard the USS Mt. Katmai in such areas as Guam, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan and just off the Vietnam coast.
In 1964 Mill married Geraldine Bergh, and the young couple moved to Encino, Calif. From 1964-1965 Mill served aboard ship and commuted weekends to Encino until his next major tour of duty began in April 1965.
Returning to civilian life in late December 1965, Mill joined Geraldine in Owatonna, Minn. In July 1966, Mill became a new employee of IBM in Rochester, Minn. Mill, Geraldine and son Timothy resided for several years in Owatonna until 1979, when they moved to Mantorville, Minn., to be closer to Mill's work. In 1984, Mill took the opportunity offered by IBM to transfer to Carlisle, Pa., and later worked at IBM's Mechanicsburg, Pa., site.
In December of 1993, Mill and Geraldine moved to Prescott Valley, where Mill worked briefly for ACE before joining the then new company, Shuttle-"U". There he enjoyed working in various capacities until illness forced him to retire in late February 2006.
Mill died April 26, 2006, at the VA Hospice Care Unit, VA Hospital in Prescott.
He is survived by his wife Geraldine; his son Timothy; one sister, Shirley Shaw of Longville, Minn.; nieces and a nephew and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents.
(Information provided by survivors.)
Jeannette Owen Elmquist, age 77, of Prescott, born Feb. 6, 1929, in Guyman, Okla., died Saturday, May 13, 2006, in Prescott.
A private internment will be at Riverside National Cemetery in California.
Arizona Ruffner Wakelin Funeral Home assisted the family with final arrangements.