Memorial services were held Saturday, April 17, at Summers Funeral Homes, McMurtrey Chapel in Mountain Home.
Jim was born in Chicago, Ill., on July 24, 1930. In 1945 he joined the United States Navy. He was so intent on a military career that he was "somewhat creative" in providing documentation to the Navy recruiter, his family said. Following a two-year stint as a sailor, Jim accepted a discharge, and shortly thereafter enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
Jim married Donna Jean Vaughan in 1953, and they had a son, James II, and two daughters, Teri and Jennifer.
After retiring from the U.S. Air Force in August 1967, Jim worked for the Oregon Highway Department, the Idaho Department of Corrections, and the Ada County Highway District. He retired from his civilian career in August 1990.
Following his divorce in 1971, he married Melba Lee Milton on Nov. 18, 1972, and following their retirement in 1990 they built their "dream home" on ten acres in Mountain Home, doing most of the construction themselves and "turning the desert green with beautiful landscaping," his family noted.
"Jim will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him. He was a 'no nonsense' man and you always knew where you stood with him," his family said. "If you were privileged enough to count Jim as a friend, you had a friend for life and one you could count on not only during the good times, but particularly during the bad.
"He led a long, eventful life, traveled extensively during his military career as well as after his retirement, and most definitely 'did it his way'."
Jim is survived by: his wife, Melba; twin sister Joan and her husband, Chester Gall, of Chicago, Ill.; daughters Teri (Scott) Hagen of Tacoma, Wash.; Jennifer (Mike) Goodell of Puyallup, Wash., and daughter-in-law Vicki Ciha of Kennewick, Wash.; stepdaughters Carmen Parrish of Centralia, Washington; Sharon (Jim) Girvin of Beaverton, Ore.; Cynthia (Tom) Jones of Boise, Melinda Parrish of Ontario, Ore., and Sandra Kerr of Nampa; stepsons Timothy Parrish and Harold Parrish of Oregon, and Michael (Karen) Parrish of Loma Linda, Calif.; 29 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his son, James J. Ciha II; sisters Gloria Tokarz and Betty Oldannie; granddaughters Divina Soland and Tina Marie Bousley, and grandson Daniel Jones.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Jim's name to the American Cancer Society, 2676 Vista Ave, Boise, ID 83705.