James "Jim" W. Towler (Keyes) - A service will be conducted at 10 a.m.
Monday at Norton Mortuary, Turlock, for James "Jim" W. Towler, 75, who
died Friday at a Turlock hospital after a short illness. Burial will
be in Turlock Memorial Park.
A native of Oklahoma, he moved to California in 1952. He owned the
Keyes Blacksmith shop until 1979.
He leaves his wife, Ophelia; a son, Cleburne Towler of Oregon; seven
daughters, Eddie Robinson of Hughson, Pat Hanson of Fresno, Bobbie
Martinez and Jacqueline Jones of Ceres, Betty Demming of Keyes, Rita
Hagier of Denair and Hazel Hitchcock of Merced; a brother and sister,
31 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
Source: Modesto Bee, Page B-2 Saturday 29 August 1981.
Just FYI, Fresno is in Fresno County, about 90 minutes from Keyes;
Ceres, Hughson and Denair are all in Stanislaus County, within 15
minutes or less of Keyes; and Merced is in Merced County, about 30
minutes from Keyes. Turlock is a town of 40,000 - 50,000 at the
moment. It is the place people from Keyes go to do their major grocery
shopping, and the closest hospital to Keyes. The Memorial park is just
6 blocks from the downtown, with a lot of 100-year-old trees.
I can send you a photocopy of the obit, if you wish.
I posted the reply above on the GenForum Stanislaus page. I don't know
if you have the automatic e-mail notification features turned on. I
thought it would be better to hear about it twice than not at all, so
I'm sending it to you this way, too.
Sharon Robinson also replied to your post. She has some pictures of
your grandfather's welding shop. She gave two e-mail addresses; I have
both in the "cc" box. Her reply is:
The Modesto Bee went to an abbreviated form of obituary sometime in
the 1970's. They don't tell as much as they used to.
Forgive me if I tell you something you already know, but you can look
up the cemetery and/or funeral home mentioned in the obit on one of
the web-based phone books, such as
and write to them. They often have the deceased person's parents and
exact birth place. I always send them $5 and a SASE, saying the $5 is
for copying and postage and asking them to apply the balance to either
the staff birthday cake kitty or the veterans' decoration fund.
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