Cover photo for James "Jim" Rubin Whiteside's Obituary
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James "Jim" Rubin Whiteside

September 30, 1921 — May 9, 2010

James "Jim" Rubin Whiteside, 88, of La Grande and Burlingame, Calif., died of natural causes May 9 with family by his side. A celebration of Jim's life was held June 12 in Washington Park next to the home Jim lived in for more than 50 years.

Jim was born Sept. 30, 1921,at home in a sod house in Hotod, N.M. A child of the Depression, Jim grew up in Eastern Oregon and moved to Ketchikan, Alaska, in 1941.

He was a volunteer fireman and had a wholesale produce business. After Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army Air Force and became the skipper of an Air Sea Rescue Boat, commanding crash boats in Alaska and the Philippines.

Returning to Ketchikan after World War II, Jim met Phyllis Parker, RN, the love of his life, and they married in 1950. After leaving Alaska, he attended Washington State University and received a pharmacy degree with two small children in tow. Jim and Phyllis moved to Burlingame in 1955 where their third child was born.

Jim became a partner in Miller Drug Store. In 1972, he moved with his family to Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands for two years. Upon returning to the U.S., Jim worked in the Veterans Administration until he retired.

Jimmy loved island life and was an avid scuba diver. He and Phyllis traveled the world, often with their children. He loved caring for his grandchildren and the pets of the family, socializing with their many friends, flying his taildragger Stinson airplane, fixing anything that needed it and gardening.

Jim is survived by his wife of 56 years, Phyllis; children, David, Don and his wife, Karen, and Lauren and her husband, Daniel; six grandchildren; and a sister, Bess Stuth, 94, of Kirkland, Wash.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association at


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