Jim passed away (non-COVID 19 related) at the age of 83 on Sunday, May 17, 2020 with his children at his bedside. He is remembered fondly for his gentle nature, his sense of humor, and his love for the natural world.
Jim was born in Detroit, Michigan to James Edward and Mary (Aubrey) Nee. He received his B.S. in Wildlife Management in 1959 from Michigan State University. He subsequently received his M.A. in Public Administration at Wayne State University in 1963 and his M.A. in Zoology at University of California, Berkeley in 1967. He married in 1969 and had two children. From 1968-1988 worked for US Department of Fish and Wildlife in Boise, Idaho and Sacramento, California as a Biologist and Ecologist, retiring in 1988. In 1990, he began working for Santa Cruz County Agriculture as a Biologist & Agricultural Inspector until he retired in 2003. He received an Associate’s Degree in History and Studio Art at Cabrillo College in 2007 & 2008, respectively.
Jim gave back to his community by volunteering for The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, as a member of the Santa Cruz Kiwanis and was appointed to the County Art’s Commission by the Santa Cruz County Board in 2008. Jim took great pride in having hiked the majority of the Pacific Crest Trail, his trail name was ‘Tazul’.
Jim is survived by his ex-wife, Esperanza of Santa Cruz and their two children, Jason of Santa Cruz and Mary Jane of Santa Rosa; grandchildren, Kyle and Meilia; nephews Jeffery, Todd and Paul James Sloan and nieces, Diana Sloan and Kathleen McConnell of Detroit, MI; his close friend, Kate McGuire of Santa Cruz; and his dog, Louie.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his honor to Pacific Crest Trail Association at www.pcta.org/donate/#donate. A celebration of Jim’s life is currently postponed until social distancing regulations are lifted to best protect the health and safety of attendees.
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