James Alfred Golden – beloved husband, father, grandpa, son, brother, uncle, and friend – died in Los Angeles, CA on November 6, 2012. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. Interment will follow at Lyndon Cemetery in Lyndon, KS.
He was born February 20, 1950 in Denver, CO. After four months he and his mother returned to Venezuela where he spent four years of his childhood. He returned to the states, moving to Lawrence, KS. He attended Lawrence public schools and graduated from Lawrence High School in 1969.
After a short sojourn in Ft. Dodge, IA, he returned to Topeka, KS and enrolled in Washburn University where he graduated with a degree in Microbiology in 1974. Upon his graduation, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. After serving two years he was discharged from active duty, but held inactive reserve status for several years.
He was a pilot and flew as a commercial pilot for Lawrence Aviation until 1976 when he enrolled in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kansas. He then began his life long career in Mechanical Engineering of HVAC systems, primarily working for Aeronautics agencies. He was a licensed Professional Engineer in the states of California, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Jim and family lived in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, California, and a short time in Iowa. For the last 20 years of his life, he resided in Lancaster, CA and worked at Edwards Air Force Base for much of that time. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He was recognized as an outstanding Civilian Mechanical engineer by the Department of Defense for his work at Edwards Air Force Base.
Jim was an outdoor enthusiast who enjoyed camping, hiking, kayaking and especially mountain biking. He was the most devoted of husbands. Anyone who knew him understood the depth of his dedication and love for Kathy. He was a reserved yet caring man who loved spending time with his family. Jim will be remembered for his bright problem-solving mind, his sense of humor, his selflessness, and his steady character.
He married Kathleen Marie Criqui on August 21, 1970 in the First United Methodist Church, Lawrence.
He is survived by his parents, John and Jane Golden; his wife, Kathleen Golden; his children, Michael (Emily) Golden, Christina (Michael) Betzer, Andrew (Crystal) Golden, Timothy (Kara) Golden; his grandchildren, Henry and Veronica Golden, Aiden and Makenna Betzer, Lila Golden, and Emmalynn Golden; his sister, Nancy (Jack) Biddle; his brother-in-law, Gene Anthony (Lisa) Criqui; nieces, Kara (Adam) Mastalski, Flagstaff, AZ, and Andrea Biddle, Bozeman, MT. Jim was preceded in death by his father-in-law, Orvel Criqui, and his mother-in-law, Nadine Criqui.
The family will greet friends on Tuesday from 9 a.m. until service time at Warren-McElwain mortuary in Lawrence.
The family suggests memorials in his name to Lawrence Habitat for Humanity and may be sent in care of the mortuary.
To Kathy and Family. We did not realize until recently that Jim had passed away. Hank & Jim were very good friends and after graduation, people become mobile and just seem to lose track of each other. Time flies so quickly & we are so glad you got to spend so many married years together. Hank & I also were married in 1970. Hank said he and Jim knew each other way back in grade school. Our thoughts are with you, even though a little late, Hank said Jim was the best guys he ever knew. We were in California seeing a new Grandson when Jim passed. Life always goes on doesn’t it? Again, our prayers & thoughts are with you. Hank & Mary Willems.