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Welcome to the memorial page for

James L. Dorsey

January 2, 1934 ~ October 25, 2017 (age 83)

USAF Master Sergeant retired James L. “Jim” Dorsey passed away on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.  He was 82 years old.  Jim was born on June 6, 1935 in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains in east Tennessee.  He was the last of nine children born to William and Sarah Dorsey.  Jim joined the Air Force at the young age of 16 and stayed on for 21 years.  During this time he served 3 years in Newfoundland in the early 1950’s during the cold war era at a distant early warning air base.

            Jim met and married Vella Dean Shults in 1956.  Two sons, James and Bill soon joined this happy union and the family traveled to many different bases.  In 1972 Jim retired at McChord Air Force Base in Washington.  Then, he was employed by the U.S. Postal Service for 15 years.

            When Jim was stationed at Mt.Home Air Force Base for 5 years he fell in love with the hunting and fishing in Idaho.  He was extremely proud of his big game trophy room which is full of mounts from many hunting trips with his sons.

            Jim and his family enjoyed many summers at their cabin in Cascade.  For a number of years his son, Bill, held bluegrass music jams at the cabin with musicians from around the valley participating.  Hunting expeditions were held later on in the fall.  As Jim got older and the winter got colder, he sometimes traveled with Vella to their house in Florida.  But not often, because he said he could stand the cold in Idaho better than the heat in Florida.

            One of Jim’s greatest joys in life was his grandchildren, Daniel, Jana, Tanya, and Sarah.  They kept him young building tree houses for Daniel and attending dance, violin, and piano programs.  He was also proud of his wife, Vella, and often said she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met.

            Jim wanted to acknowledge the outstanding care he received over the years from the Boise VA Medical Center, particularly Dr. Charan and Dr. Giuliani.  Dr. Charan looked out for Jim for many years.  The Dorsey family would like to express their appreciation for the wonderful care Jim received at the Idaho State Veterans Home during the last couple months of his life. Jim was a life member of the Disabled American Veterans.

            Jim was preceded in death by his parents and eight siblings.  He use to say, “If things work out well, I’ll meet all of my family and friends on the other side of the river.”  Jim was survived by his wife of 61 years, Vella Dean Dorsey, two sons, James and Bill Dorsey, four grandchildren, Sarah Dorsey, Tanya Turner, Jana Armstrong, and Daniel Dorsey, and two great-grandchildren, Anya and Zola Armstrong.

            A viewing will be held on Tuesday, October 31st, at 1:00-3:00pm at the Cremation Society of Idaho, 5541 W. Overland Rd, Boise, ID 83705.  A military service will be held on Wednesday, November 1st, at 3:00pm at the Veteran’s Cemetery, 10100 North Horseshoe Bend Rd, Boise, ID 83714. 


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