I want to pass this sad news on to everybody. Jim’s sister-in-law called today to tell me that Jim passed away in his sleep this morning. He went out the way he wanted to: peacefully at home, surrounded by friends and family.
Jim had been absent from the Model Railroading scene for the last couple of months due to surgery. While recovering at home, he developed complications that weakened his immune system. Sadly he was not able to recover this time.
Many of you know of his extensive modeling of the Northern Pacific and the railroads that interchanged with the NP. He was an avid collector and expert builder of his favorite road along with many pieces of foreign rolling stock that traveled on the NP. Jim was the long time proprietor of the Sunshine Models archive site that featured databases, spreadsheets and kit information on about everything Martin Lofton produced. He also supplied many of us with much needed PDS’s and additional information on his kits. He was always there for us. Jim was also a resonator and developed replacement parts for many kits, mostly NP prototypes.
I had the pleasure of knowing Jim for over ten years. We did a lot of horse-trading with one another. After a period of time we exchanged phone numbers and chatted several times per week during the last few years. He was a great help providing his expertise to answer any questions I had. I also helped him out with any questions he had.
Jim and I finally met each other face to face at the Naperville (Chicagoland) RPM three years ago. Jim and his sister in law Eva made the trip by train. Although he said it wasn’t the best trip he ever made, giving the delays and lack of comfort creatures of Amtrak, I too would have done the same thing if had to in order to visit the RPM show.
During the show I was Jim’s chauffer. He was wheelchair bound as he had trouble with his legs. I guided him around all the tables of the craftsman quality models that were on display. It was the best RPM I ever attended! I am going to miss my buddy. I’m going to miss all those chit chat calls we made.
Jim, you are going to take one more train ride to the greatest railroad place in heaven. I am going to try and finish all those partially built kits that you sent me; I just hope I can provide the finishing touch to what you envisioned.
Your Dear Friend,