Jim BestJune 20, 1932 - July 17, 2017DinubaJim Best passed away on Monday, July 17, 2017 due to complications from cancer. His wife of over 60 years, Marie, his brother Mark, numerous nieces and nephews, and other family and friends survive him.Jim was born on June 20, 1932 in Coweta, Oklahoma to Sam and Alta Best. He was the first of their four children followed by Betty, Frank, and Mark. After growing up in Oklahoma, Jim joined the US
and spent most of his enlistment in Germany. He quickly rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant and was eventually in charge of numerous military and civilian personnel in the motor pool. His love of fixing cars would affect the rest of his working life.While serving in Germany, Jim went to a local dance where he met a young Germany woman named Marie. They took an immediate liking to each other and agreed to meet again. He courted her for over a year before he asked her to marry him. After they married, they moved to the United States. Those who knew Jim know he loved Ford cars. However, he purchased a Chevy while in Germany. He then had it shipped the United States, and they drove it cross-country to his last Army post at Ft. Ord, California.After the Army, Jim and Marie moved to the Central Valley to be near his family who had moved there while he was in the service. Eventually settling in Dinuba, Jim began working for a local Beacon service station. Jim moved up quickly, and before too long owned and ran the only full-service Texaco station in Dinuba, eventually owning another one in Reedley. He also ran the only AAA franchise in the area for many years.Jim retired in 1990. He spent the rest of his days enjoying life with his wife. Among other activities, they liked to go to the dessert with friends to drive dune buggies as well as camping in their RV at the central coast or the mountains. Jim loved Dinuba so much that even after temporarily moving to Huntington Beach in the sixties, he soon wanted to come "home" to be near his friends and family. They moved back and never called anywhere else home.Jim and Marie travelled to Germany several times over the years to visit with her family and to see Europe. He was active in the local community as well, once serving as the president of the Alta District Historical Society. Recently, Jim liked spending time at a donut shop near his home drinking coffee and talking with friends. He recently turned 85. Those who knew and loved him will sorely miss Jim.