James Lawrence Alkire
August 16, 1934 - April 22, 2021
Jim had a wonderful life of 86 years, beginning in the mountains of West Virginia, then to the Sonoran desert of Arizona, and finally to the golden hills of California.
He was born August 16, 1934, to Lawrence Webster Alkire and Olga Myrtle King Alkire in Grantsville, West Virginia. At the age of 10, Jim, his sister Mary Ann, and parents moved to Tucson, AZ. Jim graduated from Tucson High School, class of 1952 (Go Badgers!), and attended the University of Arizona (Go Wildcats!), working part-time at El Rancho Market.
He was drafted into the army in 1957, serving two years on stateside duty. He met his wife-to-be, Margaret Dawson, in Tucson and they were married in Evanston, IL, in 1960. They lived in El Paso, Tx, where Jim graduated cum laude from Texas Western College (now UTEP). Son Andy was born there. They moved to Philadelphia, PA, where Jim received a Master's degree in Public Administration from the Wharton School, Fels Institute of Local and State Government, at the University of Pennsylvania. Jim was a Samuel S. Fels scholar. Following graduation, he pursued his career in City Management beginning in Highland Park, Ill, where he served as Director of Finance and Assistant to the City Manager. Daughter Betsy was born there. In 1966 the family moved to Centralia, Il, where Jim was City Manager until 1970. His third child Bob joined the family there.
In 1970 the family moved to beautiful Pleasant Hill, CA, where Jim served as City Manager until his retirement in 1987. For over 50 years, he was active in St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church and was a proud member of Pleasant Hill Rotary Club. In his leisure time, he coached baseball for his sons in PHBA, listened to the jazz of Glenn Miller, indulged his family by camping, and enjoyed family reunions. He loved his two-buck chuck, sharing his sense of humor, and spending time with friends. He loved being a grandfather and enthusiastically attended any and all of their activities. Jim was an avid fan of the Oakland A's and the Golden State Warriors. During the retirement years, Jim and Margi traveled extensively, going to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. They lived half the year in Jim's beloved Tucson, where they were active in St. John on the Desert Presbyterian Church. Jim organized UA baseball outings, attended UA basketball, and was a die-hard Arizona Wildcat fan.
He is survived by wife Margi, son Andy and wife Jacqueline, daughter Betsy and husband John, and son Bob. He had 8 grandchildren, which meant 8 wonderful ten-year-old trips. The beloved grandchildren are Alec Alkire, Ryan Alkire, Sean Alkire, Megan Alkire, Olivia Alkire, James Chabin, Sarah Chabin, and Nathan Chabin. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Jeannette D Kahlenberg and his nephew Tyler Kight.
In his last months, Jim suffered from complications of pneumonia. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, St. John on the Desert Presbyterian Church, or the Pleasant Hill Rotary Club Foundation.
A Celebration of Life will be Saturday, May 8, from 2 to 3 p.m. on the lawn at the gazebo at the Pleasant Hill Community Center. There will be some chairs, but guests may bring their own chairs or blankets for social distancing. Following the celebration, drinks and appetizers will be served.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Lawrence Alkire, please visit our floral store.
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
1601 Mary Dr., Pleasant Hill CA 94523
St. John on the Desert Presbyterian Church
2695 N Houghton Rd., Tuscon AZ 85749
Rotary Club of Pleasant Hill
20 Civic Dr., Pleasant Hill CA 94523