James W.H. Charlton
James W.H. Charlton, also known as “Bill,” was born Feb. 29, 1916 in Bella Coola, British Columbia, Canada. In 1922, his family was flooded out and moved to Riverside. Bill spent his school years, kindergarten through Riverside Junior College, in Riverside. From 1936 to 1938 Bill went to U.C. Berkeley and received his Bachelor’s degree in Forestry. He went to work for the U.S. Forest Service on the Cleveland National Forrest.
On Jan. 1, 1941, Bill married Ruth Estelle Richardson. On Feb. 19, 1941, he was drafted into the U.S. Army as a private at $21 a month. On Aug. 19, 1942, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. In September of 1942 Bill was sent to England and joined the 344 Engineers, and they then went on to Algeria, Italy, France and Germany. Bill came back to the United States in October 1945 and in January 1946 he retired as a Captain.
Bill was then sent to the USFS to Mt. Hebron, north of Mt. Shasta. Mark (James W.M. Charlton) and Michaele (Susan Michaele Charlton) were born in Klamath Falls, Ore. In 1950 he was transferred to the Sequoia National Forest. David (David Scott Charlton) and Christopher (Christopher Bruce Charlton) were both born in Bakersfield. In 1956 he was transferred to the Eldorado National Forrest at Georgetown, then to Lake Tahoe. In 1959 “Ruth and Bill” were awarded the “Lake Tahoe Parents of the Year.”
In 1962 he was transferred to the Inyo National Forrest. In 1971 he was awarded the Boy Scout “Silver Beaver.” Then in 1973 Bill retired as Lands, Fire and Minerals Staff Officer.
In 1979 his wife Ruth died. In 1980 he married Helen M. Jones. Bill was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, a Life Member of VFW Post 8988, and a Life Member of Northern Inyo Hospital Auxiliary. He also enjoyed volunteering as a teacher of Red Cross First Aid and CPR for 42 years, was a member of the Boy Scouts, and a member of the Inyo County Search and Rescue.
In September 2007 Bill and Helen moved to Michaele and Rafael Caso’s Ranch in Idaho. The next year, 2008, Helen died. Bill passed away peacefully Feb. 16, 2014.
Bill is survived by his son, James W.M. Charlton and his wife, Dawn of Palmdale; his daughter, Michaele and her husband, Rafael Caso of Melba, Idaho; son, David Scott Charlton and Jane of Coleville; son, Christopher Bruce Charlton and Diane of Portland, Ore.; stepson, Michael and Cathy Jones of Medford, Ore.; 14 grandchildren; and 29 great-grandchildren.
At his request, his body has been donated to a medical school for educational purposes.