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Wolf, James Lawrence

March 21, 2022

james wolf 2022 392228James (Jim) Lawrence Wolf “The most satisfying thing in life is to have been able to give a large part of one’s self to others”. ~Teilhard de Chardin Jim Wolf, born on April 13, 1933, to Frank and Mary Ellen Sullivan Wolf, lived his life through the above words of Teilhard de Chardin. Jim ended his present journey at home on March 21, 2022, after a struggle with Parkinson’s Disease in the presence of his wife, Marcella, and his family. Jim’s life was full and complete as he grew up as the youngest of six children in Odell, Illinois. He became a basketball star in high school and went on to play basketball for four years at St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa. Jim then entered the Catholic Church ministry in 1959 and served in the Peoria, Illinois Diocese until 1973 when he chose to change his life’s direction and began working with the Navajo People of New Mexico. Jim and his wife of 48 years, Marcella Bachler, continued to work for 25 years to bring education, employment, and health programs to the Ramah Navajo and Alamo Navajo Peoples. After retirement in 1998, Jim began his volunteer work with various organizations. Jim and Marcella have three children: Justin Wolf (Martina Buchner), Joseph Wolf, and Anna McMillan (Jay McMillan). Jim’s devotion to his children and their families was unending. His frequent visits to Justin and Tina in Europe, his never-ending support of Joseph as he persevered in his deployments to Iraq and his completion of medical school, and with Anna, his princess, as he supported her while she pursued her career in hospital administration. Jim was the supporter, the forgiver, the comforter, never judging and always providing constant strength. Jim loved to play golf at the New Mexico Tech golf course, chasing the “little white pill around” with the smallest, and often quoted as the oldest, collection of clubs until a new set arrived from Joseph in 2007. He and his children enjoyed building radio-controlled airplanes and models of ships which hung from the ceiling of his home in Socorro, New Mexico, where he and Marcella lived for 33 years, and are now hanging in the homes of his children, carrying on his memory of “making plywood fly”. Jim was a bow hunter (taking the bow for a walk), a published novelist, an avid actor in the Socorro Community Theater (best known for his role as The Tortilla Man), and never gave up on his Spider Solitaire games. He consistently beat his family at hearts, chess, and cribbage. Struggling with Parkinson’s Disease since 2014, Jim and Marcella moved to Utah to be near Anna and Jay. Anna and Jay invited Jim and Marcella to live with them in 2020 as Jim’s ability to walk decreased and Anna and Jay gave untiring care to Jim until his passing. Special gratitude also goes to Brigitte Hansen and Mike Wyatt, of Intermountain Hospice Care, who made Jim’s life more comfortable and were a constant in Jim’s last year. Jim lives on in his three children and his six grandchildren: Lea Marcella Wolf, Cara Jamie Wolf, Maya Janna Wolf, Samantha Jae McMillan, Lucas Wolf McMillan, and Stirling James McMillan. Jim’s life was a service to others, and his children and grandchildren are his legacy as they work to make the world a better place for others. Rest in peace, Jim. We shall miss you terribly and, with your memories and victories, we salute you with that glass of Scotch Whiskey. A family memorial will be held April 3rd at the Wolf residence. In addition, Memorial Masses will celebrate Jim’s life at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Draper, Utah and St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Peoria, Illinois.

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