Tuesday, July 01, 2008
James "Jim" Dennis Grandjean entered this life on April 17, 1940, in Slaton, Texas, to parents Jules and Tillie Grandjean. He was called to be with the Lord on June 30, 2008, while cradled in the arms of his wife and sons.
Jim came from humble beginnings, but his family instilled in him the value of education and the opportunity for change it might bring. Jim was graduated by Trona High School in 1957 (his proudest achievement).
Jim was on active duty in the Navy reserves from 1963 to 1965, where he traveled to far-eastern locations such as Japan, Australia, Thailand and Vietnam. Upon his return to the United States, Jim studied at San Francisco State University and was graduated with honors 1968. He was later awarded a Juris Doctor degree from Hastings College of the Law in 1971.
Shortly after graduation, he served as chief counsel and executive director of Alaska Legal Services where he supervised 40 attorneys in 12 different offices. He also served as counsel to the Alaska State Legislature while working concurrently with a private civil litigation firm. He met his wife (and "best friend") Susan in Anchorage, where she worked as a legal secretary and clerk. Their marriage in 1977 ultimately yielded three sons, Jules, Alain and James.
Because Jim could never forget his early struggles against poverty and to receive an education, he was moved to return to the southwest in 1983. He began practicing concurrently in both Arizona and New Mexico, running a private office, which often refused to bill clients for services provided. He spent the last 20 years of his life tirelessly helping the indigent receive legal representation in both civil and criminal matters. He considered himself a "humble country lawyer" who believed in helping those who would not be helped otherwise.
Jim is survived by his wife, Susan, and his three sons, Jules, Alain and James, whom he loved immensely and often referred to as his "guardian angels." He is also survived by his brother Darrell (Angie) Grandjean, sisters Sandie (Ron) Lane and Claudia (Rios); and a wonderful extended family of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Thursday, July 3, 2008, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 150 Fleury in Prescott. A Rosary will precede it at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 2, 2008, at Ruffner-Wakelin Funeral Home, corner of Cortez and Carlton, with a greeting time at 5 p.m. Memorials in Jim's name can be made to St. Vincent De Paul and the Judians of Sacred Heart Parish, care of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
You are invited to log onto www.ruffnerwakelin.com to view a tribute to Jim, sign his guestbook and share a memory.
Information provided by survivors.
Dona eis requiem. †