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James Herbert Carr, 1940 – 2020: A Kind, Caring Man

James Herbert Carr was born Jan. 7, 1940, to George Herbert and Margaret Jane Carr in Ottumwa, Iowa. He passed away Dec. 6, 2020, at Mercy Hospital in Redding, California, due to COVID-19.

Jim was a boy of many interests with reading, music, and raising animals at the top of his list. Throughout his life, he was never without a book or a pet in the household. Jim actively supported his hobbies and saved money by being a paperboy and working in the Morrell Meat Packing plant, which helped him earn his way through college.

While attending Iowa State Teacher’s College (The University of Northern Iowa), Jim organized various activities at the student union. Before long he met his wife of 58 years, Mary Lou Larson. On August 11, 1962, they married and spent their honeymoon driving out to live in California, where teaching jobs awaited them. They settled in Huntington Beach, California where they basked in the sun and walked on the beaches—a contrast to the cold Iowa winters. They welcomed their son Jeffery James in 1964, and then adopted another son Brian Michael in 1967.

In 1968 the young family moved to Redding where they planted their permanent roots, living on a small farm. That same year they adopted their daughter, Jill Elaine.

Jim taught in Redding and Shasta Lake elementary school districts for a combined 35 years. In between, he established a family business creating handwoven garments (Red Bud Studio), which included raising sheep and traveling to apparel marts nationwide.

After years of piano lessons and high school cello performances, Jim continued his musical interest as an adult, singing with the Shasta College Chorale and singing lead roles in musicals produced by Shasta College. He was a long-standing member of the Pilgrim Congregational Church choir.

Jim also kept busy as president of the Redding Museum Art Society when it occupied the Carter House in Caldwell Park. He volunteered at the Cascade Theater since it first reopened, had the family garden on the Rose Society Tour and explored family genealogies for friends and family, as well as being active with the AAUW. The film group was a highlight!

Jim’s greatest joy and accomplishment was family! He was instrumental in the planning and coordinating of family reunions.

Following his son Jeff (Donna), of Colorado, on photographic and hunting excursions was great fun. Having Jill and grandsons Cody James Stidham (named after Grandpa) and Alex Jeffery Stidham close was pure pleasure to the man they called “DadDad”.

Only weeks before his death, Jim officiated at Cody and Hailey’s wedding, which filled him with immense pride.

Jim will be greatly missed. He was predeceased by his son Brian. He leaves behind his wife Mary, son Jeff (Donna), daughter Jill, grandsons Cody (Hailey) and Alex, his younger sister Janice Phillips, and other family members of Ottumwa, as well as the Larson family in the Midwest, and many friends and former students here in Redding who knew him as a kind, caring man.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.