James E. Page March 19, 1939 – October 12, 2013 James E. "Jim" Page, age 74, of Grand Junction, passed away peacefully on October 12, 2013, after a two and one half year battle with cancer. Jim was born in Higgins, Texas on March 19, 1939, and while he had called Colorado his home for the last 48 years, he was always proud of his Lone Star heritage. Jim lived in the Texas/Oklahoma Panhandle area for 16 years and survived the great tornado of 1947 that ravaged a 220-mile swath through Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. In 1954, his family moved to eastern New Mexico. It was there where he met Roberta Gaye Mitchell while attending Rosedale High School. They were married on May 26, 1957. He graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in 1962. After teaching in Grady, NM for six years, he moved his family to Colorado. Jim taught at the Collbran Job Corps Center until 1972 when he became the elementary principal and fourth grade teacher at Plateau Valley School. Later, Jim taught high school language arts at PVHS. Jim and Gaye both taught at Plateau Valley for 24 years, retiring in 1996. Not quite ready for retirement, and with Gaye's deep desire to travel and see the world, Jim and Gaye took teaching positions in the Northern Mariana Islands, on the tiny island of Tinian. They taught there for three years and then traded the tropical paradise for the Artic environment of Kotzebue, Alaska. Jim taught there for one year then officially "hung up the chalk stick" for good - kind of. From 2003 to 2009, he worked as a consultant for the Colorado Department of Education. After retirement, Jim and Gaye continued to travel throughout the world with their beloved friends Bob and Kathleen Gengler. A favorite memory of Jim's was the Caribbean cruise that he and Gaye treated the entire family to in 2009. In addition to traveling, Jim loved to cook, read books, play cards, watch movies, and generally "putter" in and around the house. He also loved to spend the winters in Sun City, Arizona in their second home, and took every opportunity to spoil his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was involved in the Collbran Lions Club for 30 years, serving up legendary sloppy joes at the Junior Rodeo concession stand. He was also involved with the Colorado Council International Reading Association (CCIRA) for many years, serving as President in 1986. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Gaye; daughter and two sons and their families, Rhonda and Alan Dillon of Parachute, Mike and Shona Page of Springfield, and Pat and Nina Page of Durango; six grandchildren, Jenny Tobin, Brendan, Kelby, and Taylor Dillon, Tanner and Tayte Page, and four great-grandchildren, Katherine, Cassidy, Andi, and Liam. He is also survived by two brothers, Bill (Wanda) Page, and Mac Page; sister, Maudine Hamilton, and a cousin, Ilene Floyd. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Brenda and a grandson, Jared. Jim never lost his sense of humor or positive attitude throughout his battle with cancer and at the beginning of his treatments, he told family and friends "they just don't know how much Texas grit this ole boy has". A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, October 17, 2013, at Martin Mortuary. Cremation has taken place and his ashes will be spread along Camp Creek on the old Page Ranch in Lipscomb County, Texas. Donations may be made to the James E. Page Education Memorial Fund for under privileged students in c/o of the Western Rockies FCU, 2302 N. Avenue, Grand Junction, CO 81501. Friends and family may leave their condolences at www.martinmortuary.com.
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