His family noted that he "left this world... after a nearly three-year battle with cancer, in a way that was uniquely his."
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13, at Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel. Military honors will be by the American Legion Post #26. Jim's final resting place will be at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Boise.
Jim was born in Oklahoma on July 31, 1934, the baby of five older brothers and sisters, to Rosie and Johnnie Lacks. He was raised in Reedley, Calif. During high school he joined the California Cadet Corps and achieved the rank of master sergeant.
In 1952, he joined the U.S. Air Force and trained as an aircraft mechanic. He was stationed at several different bases, including a tour in Vietnam, before retiring at Fairchild AFB, in Spokane, in 1972, after serving 20 years and 22 days. Prior to his retirement he was certified as an A and P Plant Mechanic by the US Department of Transportation.
He returned to Mountain Home in 1972 and began working in construction.
Jim married Judy Haahr on Nov.1, 1975, and after having two daughters from his first marriage, he readily accepted the challenge of raising step-sons who refer to him as "Pop" or "Dad."
Jim became a certified Journeyman Plumber in 1981, and in 1982 he became employed at Mountain Home Air Force Base again, but this time in Civil Service instead of the USAF. In 1983 he was promoted to be the Plumbing Shop foreman and ended up as the foreman of the Vertical Shop.
He retired from Civil Service in January 1997.
After retirement Jim got back to his old love of wood-crafting. He and Judy spent five winters developing property in Arizona, but the rest of the time he could be found in his shop, building all kinds of crafts. He built a reputation for his annual Christmas decorations of his home.
Jim was a lifetime member of American Legion Post #26, the American Legion Honor Guard and BPOE #2276.
Jim is survived by: his wife, Judy, of Mountain Home; two daughters, Helen and her husband, Raymond Lusk, and Rose Murphy, all of Spokane; three sons, Dean and his wife, Ute Haahr, of Mesa, Ariz.; Jim and his wife, Sherri Haahr, of Florence, Ariz., and Tom and his wife, Melissa Haahr, of Northwood, N.D.; 14 grandchildren, one great-granddaughter and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Fred and A.J., three sisters; Delia Mae, Edith and Wanda and one son, Robert Haahr.
Donations in Jim's name can be made to the American Legion Post #26, 515 E. 2nd South, Mountain Home, ID 83647.