James W. Dvorak obituary

James W. Dvorak Obituary

Sunnyvale, California, United States

September 18, 1918 - December 13, 2016

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James W. Dvorak obituary

James W. Dvorak Obituary

Sep 18, 1918 - Dec 13, 2016

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James W. Dvorak, Sr. James W. Dvorak, Sr., age 96, passed away at the California Veterans Home, Yountville, CA, on May 11, 2015, where he had lived for 12 years. James, the oldest of five children was born on September 18, 1918. At age twelve he started working six days a week during the summer to help support his family. He did this every summer until age 17 when he joined the Navy. After boot camp and initial training in San Diego, he was sent to Hawaii to join a seaplane squadron. He met and married his wife, Edith, in Honolulu and started raising his family. On December 7, 1941, he was a 2nd class aviation machinist mate on duty at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. His PBY squadron was devastated. His plane was one of many destroyed. He spent most of the war in Hawaii and rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer. He stayed in the navy for 22 years in many interesting assignments, including being an air crewman in one of the two Navy air squadrons that participated in the Berlin airlift. He and Edith had four children, two boys and two girls. The family moved with him to a few of his duty stations, including a tour in Japan in the early 1950s. During his years of service he was awarded 11 medals which included the Victory Medal World War II, the Medal for Humane Action (Berlin Airlift) and the Korean Service Medal. James was a life member of Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and Veterans of Foreign Wars and a previous member of the Fleet Reserve Association and Berlin U.S. Military Veterans Association. After retirement from the Navy in 1958, he worked as a lead machinist at Lockheed Corporation in Sunnyvale, CA, where he was acknowledged for his work on the prototype for the Poseidon missile. He retired from Lockheed in 1979 and shortly thereafter moved to Oroville, CA, where he and Edith had five acres to engage in a number of their personal interests such as gardening and bowling. They especially enjoyed bringing family together which included relatives from the mainland and Hawaii for their pig roasts. Edith passed away in 2000. In 2003, he lived with his son, James Dvorak Jr., and daughter-in-law, Carol, in Lakeport, CA, before deciding to move to the Veterans Home in Yountville, CA. Until the last few years of his life at the Veterans Home he stayed active volunteering, bowling, working out in the gym and reading his many magazines and books. On June 25, 2016, James' ashes were interred along side Edith's in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) in Honolulu, HI. During the ceremony Military honors included a 21-gun salute and the presentation of the burial flag to the family by Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Honors and Ceremonial Guard. James was survived by his sisters, Rosemary Barry and Pat Vollhaber of Minnesota; his children, Ethylyn DeStefano (Frank), Donald Dvorak (Elaine), James Dvorak Jr. (Carol) and Sharon Dvorak (Roger); and seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren, including granddaughter, Kim Dvorak, great-granddaughter, Pualani Kao Erickson, granddaughter Kathleen Bour, and great-granddaughters, Kaitlinn, Kirstinn and Karolinn Bour, all of Lakeport. James was highly respected for his work ethic, integrity and commitment to family. Please share your memories by signing the guestbook at www.legacy.com
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