Marshall # Fletcher Jr
Born: 2/1/1933, Hayden, Colorado
Jim Fletcher was born in a Hayden, Colorado on February 1st, 1933. He spent his childhood years in Colorado, Wyoming and Nicaragua where his father supervised the mining of gold, coal and uranium and his mother was a teacher. Returning to the United States to attend high school and college, Jim was a graduate of St. Joseph’s Military Academy in Hayes, Kansas. Upon graduation, Jim enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in Lawton, Oklahoma where he worked on the Atomic Cannon and played the trumpet in the Army Band.
Upon his honorable discharge from the Army in 1956, Jim began a long career as a mining engineer working in California, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. The cold war, uranium boom and a brand new red and black Ford convertible brought him to Grants in 1957. Jim liked to jokingly say that his convertible was responsible for him meeting and marrying a beautiful local girl, Patricia Oldfield. On June 27th, 1959, Jim and Patsy were the second couple to be married in the new St. Teresa of Avila Church.
The uranium mines eventually took the couple to Moab, Utah but they returned to the Grants area in 1966. Jim was a mining engineer and project manager at various underground “sections” in Ambrosia Lake, the Saint Anthony open pit mine and the underground shaft at Church Rock. An old friend, Henry Kolego, wrote “Jim was a great man and mining engineer. United Nuclear had legends working there and Jim was the last of them.” Well after the mines closed, Jim stayed on working on reclamation projects cleaning up mine sites. Jim was a member of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, Utah Toast Masters and taught MSHA classes in New Mexico. He loved educating others on the importance of mining, mine safety and mine history.
Jim will be remembered by family and friends as a generous man, giving of his time and resources. Through the years he tutored many struggling calculus students, spent hours working on the sound system at St. Vivian’s Catholic Church in Milan, and helping countless friends with many projects. Jim was a collector of unique cars, watches, art, models and friends. He especially loved Native America art and the people who designed it. Right up until the end, Jim a devote Catholic, religiously practiced his faith and supported his church and numerous charities.
Jim loved green Jonathan apples, coffee ice cream, the southwest, driving long distances, technology, visiting with friends, airplanes, a good melon, western hats, all kinds of music and repeated viewing his favorite movies…but most of all he loved his family always putting them first and foremost in his life.
Jim will be truly missed by his wife of 60 years, Patricia Fletcher, daughter Merita and husband Sam of Belen and son Bill Fletcher of Milan. Grandchildren Jim and Margaret Wilson of Portland, Oregon; Vera and Roy Gibson of Los Lunas; Ben and Ashley Wilson of Tampa, Florida; Marshall and Sandanee Wilson of Hatch; and Crispin and Colette Wilson of Las Cruces and Great-Grandchildren Tripp, Hayden, Nolan, Dawson, Hayes and Maddux.
Pallbearers: Jim Wilson, Ben Wilson, Marshall Wilson, Crispin Wilson, Roy Gibson, Tripp Gibson, Bill Fletcher and Sam Wilson. Honorary Pallbearers: Roberto Armijo, Lawrence Sena, Rudy Fourzan, Alex Griego, Jack Farley, LeRoy Mascarenas, Salvador Chavez and Art Candelaria.
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