James Wendell Hurley Jr. passed on April 26, 2021, at the home he built on Whidbey Island, Wash. He lived a full, adventurous 78 years.
Jim was born in New Mexico on April 4, 1943 to James Hurley, an engineer for Mobil Oil Company, and Dorothy Hurley. The family, with sister Patricia, moved to Torrance, Calif. to be near his father’s job. Jim attended Redondo Union High School and graduated in 1961. He played football for the Sea Hawks and enjoyed the beach city. Shortly after high school he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Pendleton, San Diego. The Hallmark of being a United States Marine, “Honor, Courage and Commitment,” rang true for Jim. After multiple tours of duty in Vietnam, receiving the rank of sergeant, and awarded the Purple Heart, Jim returned home to marry his love Eileen and welcome their son, David. They moved to Hawthorne, Calif. His first job was with Pacific Bell as a phone installer.
Over time, Jim would take on the role of baseball coach, soccer coach and all-around team parent for their son David. With Meatball as their bulldog mascot, Jim and Eileen enjoyed family, friends and good times in their new home. The Fourth of July was always a celebration. Honoring our Country was at the core of Jim’s values. Fireworks were set and the displays were always Spectacular.
Pacific Bell moved the family to Sacramento, Calif., and a new adventure was started. With his friends the Linstruths, boating, water skiing and family fun happened every weekend at Folsom Lake. But wait, the adventure continues. Their son, David, was now in college at UC Santa Cruz and Jim’s job with AT&T moved him to Clear Lake Calif. Now the Hurley family was on the Lake. With binoculars in hand, from his deck, Jim helped many a stranded boater.
Jim and Eileen lived an enchanted life, visiting family and friends, they also loved to cruise the Caribbean and Alaska. As a Marine, Jim was no stranger to traveling on the seas. Seemingly drawn to water, Jim was always near the ocean or lake. Jim and Eileen enjoyed each other’s company. It was a once in a lifetime romance.
After college, David married his college sweetheart Mary Bradley. Jim and Eileen were blessed with three wonderful grandchildren, Luna, Galen and Shea. Jim and Eileen could not be prouder.
Their marriage was remarkable, but then Eileen was diagnosed with cancer and passed away at their home in Clear Lake, Calif. They were married for 40 years. Jim then returned home to Torrance Calif. He reconnected with his classmates from Redondo Union High School and helped plan their 50th reunion. Jim joined a car club and held annual Super Bowl parties. Keeping his promise to Eileen, Jim stayed active and all were welcome at his home in Torrance.
After a few years, longing for a quieter lifestyle and outdoor setting, Jim left California to build a home on Whidbey Island. With his neighbor and friends Tom and Jill Flood, Jim joined The American Legion, The Rod and Gun Club and helped with the Marines Toys for Tots. Jim’s weekly routine also included morning workouts with his friends known as “The Gym Rats” followed by coffee at Pickles Deli. Always greeting you with a heartfelt “HELLO,” Jim knew what was important — family, friends and country.
Jim will be greatly missed by his son David, daughter-in-law Mary and granddaughters Luna and Shea. Also surviving are sister Pat; niece Debbie and her husband Dave Morris and their son John; sister-in-law Dolores and Jim Stoker; niece Darleen Stoker and her sons Garrett and Jackson; and nephew Darren Stoker.
Jim’s kindness, laughter, love of family, honor, courage and commitment will be his legacy.
We miss him terribly. Semper Fi, Hurley! You served your country and family well.
In lieu of flowers please consider donating to Marine Toys for Tots campaign, www.toysfortots.org