Hunting 09

James Wesley Van Ness

November 4, 1947 ~ March 21, 2024 (age 76) 76 Years Old

James Van Ness Obituary

    We are sad to announce the passing of James Wesley Van Ness, who left us at the age of 76 on March 21, 2024. Jim died at his home surrounded by his family and the things he cherished.

    Jim was born on Nov. 4, 1947 at the North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego, California to John Wesley Van Ness and Helen Berkley Shaw. Because his father was a pilot in the Navy who served in the Pacific during WWII, Jim’s early years were spent growing up on military bases around the country. On the death of his father, his mother settled in Santa Cruz, CA where she eventually married Lyle T. Hayford.

    As a child, he created lifelong friendships and memories with the kids around him. From playing on the pier at Capitola beach, to hunting at the ranch, and just getting up to boyish hijinks with his buddies, Jim looked forward to the adventures that awaited him. He often said his childhood in Santa Cruz was the happiest and best a kid could want.

    Jim graduated from Soquel High School in 1965 and attended Cabrillo Jr College for two years before starting at Chico State where he graduated in 1969. While completing his teaching degree he met and married Luanna Rae Gould, “The Light of His Life”. They recently celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.

    In 1970, both Jim and his wife accepted positions in Klamath Falls. A new school opening that year, Ponderosa Jr High School hired him as the Industrial Arts teacher. Jim set up and ran this program for 30 years, teaching countless students (and even their kids) the art of woodworking, as well as a good dose of learning to joke, tease, and look for ways to challenge themselves and each other. He retired in 2000, looking forward to having more time to enjoy his favorite activities. Hunting and fishing have always been a passion for Jim. He spent many happy hours fishing Klamath Lake and local other waterways as well as hunting with his friends and family. Goose hunting trips to Argentina and Canada were special highlights. Camping was also a favored way to spend times in the outdoors. This led to a desire for travel after his retirement, and Jim and his wife were introduced to the world of cruising. They enjoyed several cruises to Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, and through the Panama Canal. (where he found pride in dominating at trivia time and bartering the best deals from the merchants)

Jim is survived by his wife Luanna Van Ness, daughter Jillian Van Ness, and son Jarrett Van Ness. He is also survived by his brother John W Van Ness, brother-in-law  Wayne Gould and his wife Jaime, and multiple nephews. He will be greatly missed by friends and family alike.

The family would like to express their gratitude to the Kingsley and Klamath County Fire Departments for their quick response, professionalism, and care in seeing to our needs. Also, to the ER doctors and staff at Sky Lakes Medical Center.

At Jim’s request there will be no formal services. 

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