Elbert James "Jim" Boone, long-time San Diego lawyer, and longer-time husband, father, brother, liberal thinker, voracious reader (and editor), author, wit and "wet" humorist, university instructor, pet lover, golfer, scuba diver, university instructor, cinema buff and small time actor, who was fluent in Russian, died of lung cancer on Sept. 28, at age 84. Born in Shreveport, Louisiana to Ernest and Viola Boone, older brother of Robert. Jim married his high school sweetheart Betty Evans Boone in 1950.
Jim graduated from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge (B.A '49), and earned his masters degree in English Literature from University of Florida, Gainesville (M.A. ' 51). He was trained at Syracuse Univ. (US Military, Russian Language; '52-'53), and worked as a Russian interpreter in the US Air Force. After his military service, he worked for Convair (Fort Worth) as a technical editor ('57 - '59). In Spring 1959 he met Premier Nikita Khrushchev while he was the interpreter for the aluminum geodesic dome construction project for the American exhibition in Moscow, USSR (which was later the site of the "Kitchen Talks").
Jim and Betty, their two boys, Evan and Karsten, and dachshund Fritzo moved in summer 1959 from a too hot Fort Worth to the ocean breezes of San Diego. While working in the contracts department at General Atomic ('60 - '68), he followed his wife to Univ. of San Diego Law School in 1962, where both served on the USD Law Review. Jim practiced law in San Diego for over 25 years, handling criminal and civil cases. Notably, he successfully defended atheist Madelyn Murray O'Hair in a civil action in federal court. In retirement, he provided volunteer legal services to Legal Aid Society's Homeless Advocacy Program at Father Joe's.
An active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego for over 50 years [board trustee (1972-1975, and a second term in the 90's); president '72-'73, '73-'74], he authored Living Liberal Religion, a history of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego (1873-1998).
His proudest recent moment was attending Betty's induction into the San Diego Women's Hall of Fame, March 2013.
The family extends heartfelt gratitude for the support and assistance from their many friends, and the professional staffs of San Diego Hospice, Sharp Hospice, and Comfort Keepers, during his extended illness.
Jim is survived by Betty, Evan and his partner Carl (Portland, OR), Karsten and his wife Coletta (Temecula, CA), and his cat Roxie.
Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m., First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, 4190 Front St., San Diego, CA 92103; a donation to the Church may be made to honor Jim's wit and wisdom (no flowers please).