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James Tyson obit pic

James (Jim) Tyson, a longtime resident of Oakdale CA, passed away peacefully on November 15, 2023 in Modesto. He was born in Sayre, Pennsylvania in 1943 and was 80 years old when he passed. Jim is survived by all five of his siblings; MaryAnne, Ruth, Bill, Jean, and Beth. Jim was the loving father of two children, daughter, Lisa Tyson and son, Jim Tyson (Michael Perona), a beautiful attentive grandfather to Ashley Chavan and great grandfather to Emma and Abigail.

Jim is also survived by stepdaughters Susan, Marsha, Sandra and Sharon - he embraced and loved them as his own. Jim was married twice in his life. His first marriage was to Jean Machutes, the mother of his two children and, second, to Laverne Wilson, who he described as the ‘love of his life’. Both preceded Jim in passing.

Jim moved from Sayre, Pennsylvania to San Jose, California when he was 19 years old to start a family, leaving a football scholarship behind in Pennsylvania. He lived in San Jose for 18 years and moved to Oakdale in 1981. Soon after, he purchased Oakdale Interiors where his customers became friends and his friends became customers. Jim truly loved his community in Oakdale. He was a member of the Lions Club for 35 years, where you could see Jim every year at the Lions Community pancake breakfast flipping pancakes for all. He enjoyed seeing everybody’s face when they came by. Jim was also one of the members who went to Mexico to help distribute eyeglasses for children in need. One of Jim’s proudest accomplishments was when he co-led with Jerry Gilbreath the development of Oakdale’s first sports park, the T.L. Davis Sports Complex. He was also very proud to be part of awarding the Leo Volz scholarship that provided assistance to deserving students attending four-year colleges/universities.

On holidays you could also see Jim and Jerry putting flags up and down F Street. Jim was a past president of the Lions Club and a consistent winder of the downtown Oakdale Clock. He was an avid golfer, previous member of the Oakdale Country Club, and played in many tournaments (even getting a hole in one!).

Jim will be remembered as a funny, kind, service-oriented man who loved to dance, especially with his wife, Laverne. Jim Tyson was an all-around good man, and he will be forever missed.

A couple quotes from Jim:

“The most precious gift you can give someone, is your time.” And, “Remember who you are, and who you represent.”

Services: Friday, December 1, burial at Woodlake Cemetery - small family gathering. Saturday, December 2, 12 p.m. services at the Oakdale Riverbank Memorial Chapel, in Oakdale.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Alzheimer’s Association in Jim Tyson’s name at

The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader

The Riverbank (Calif.) News

Nov. 29, 2023