James Irving Shurtleff, 75, passed away in Grand Junction, Colo., on June 20 after battling a brief but vicious staph infection. Jim was preceded in death by his father Leonard and mother Jeanne.
Jim was born July 11, 1943 in Tulsa, Okla., to Leonard Shurtleff and Jeanne Shigley-Shurtleff and was the second oldest of seven brothers and sisters: Jerel (Don) Davis, Anita (Marlin) Ratzliff, Charley Shurtleff, Phyllis (Steve) Grimm, Dave Shurtleff, and Fred Shurtleff.
Jim had many jobs growing up but found a profession in sheet metal, heating and air conditioning that he succeeded at for many years. He began this career at Weiler Air Conditioning in Paris, Texas. He took correspondence classes to finish his GED and hone his drafting skills. With help from Hugo Ford, he converted the garage of the family home in Hopewell, Texas into a working sheet metal shop. He started Shurtleff Sheetmetal in 1972 with help from Jimmy and Rocky Stone. He had many amazing friends throughout his life. GI Hodges, George Dvorak Sr, Bob Burns, Richard Hunt, Gary Hilliard, Russel Weiler, Chip Harper, F D Mallory and Phillp Cecil were just a few of the many who were instrumental in aiding Jim in his entrepreneurial endeavors. Jim was always the first to volunteer his help, his house, a vehicle and his sons to aid a friend or neighbor in need. He spent his free time hunting game in Texas, Kansas, Colorado, Alaska and Africa, fowl on any prairie, pasture or body of water he could get permission to hunt and fished fresh and salt waters from Texas offshore to Delta, Alaska.
Jim sold his Texas business interest and semi-retired in 1998. He moved to Gunnison where he met Mick Shaw, owner of Gunnison Metal Shop. Jim purchased Gunnison Metal Shop from Mick and convinced his youngest brother Fred Shurtleff to move from Dallas to join him in another venture in Grand Junction, Colo., in 2000. Jim sold his Gunnison business in 2013 and spent the last six years investing and spending time with his sweetheart, Eva Carrillo from Mexico City. Jim enjoyed riding his BMW road bike all through Mexico, Costa Rica and the U.S.
Jim married Alice Toney from Detroit, Texas in 1963. Jeff Shurtleff was born in 1964 and Chris Shurtleff (Milinda) in 1967. Grandchildren are: Victoria (Michael) Smith, Paris, Texas, Daniel Shurtleff and Jaqueline Shurtleff of Austin, Texas, Lauran (Travis) Fryrey of Loma, Colo., and Corrisa Hill of Mabank, Texas. Greatgrandchildren are Cayton Smith and Ava Smith of Paris, Texas, Daniele, Keith and Abby Bracey of Mabank, Texas, and Aubrey Pearl Fryrey of Loma, Colo., Hunter (Dominic) Love of Boulder, Colo., Caitlyn Arnold and Hunter Barrett of Paris, Texas.
A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25 at Fruita United Methodist Church, 405 E. Aspen St. Fruita, CO, 81521.
Please consider making a memorial contribution in Jim Shurtleff’s name to First United Methodist Church located at 322 Lamar Avenue, Paris, Texas, 75460.