Longtime Soldotna resident James Wallace "J.W." Truesdell died Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna surrounded by his family. He was 84.
A celebration of his life and a potlatch will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the VFW Post No. 10046 on Birch Street in Soldotna.
Mr. Truesdell was born March 28, 1923, in Beebranch, Texas, to James Wallace and Ibbie Sybil (Haliburton) Truesdell. He was the eldest of 14 children. He finished the eighth grade at Brad, Texas, then joined the CCCs, where he served most of his time as a tour guide at Mesa Verde, Colo.
He then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and fought at Iwo Jima and Saipan. He was buried alive while at Saipan and received the Purple Heart. After rehab, he returned home and married Arrie Gwendolyn Adams and they had three children.
He worked in the oil fields in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Montana, California, Wyoming and Alaska. He moved his family to Soldotna in 1974. They bought their home on Funny River and he lived there until 2006, when he moved to his son's place on the Sterling Highway.
Mr. Truesdell was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years; his parents; brothers, Zebe Preston, Herbert Alton, Stevie Britton, Donavan Joeldean, Kirby Kenneth and John Ross; and sisters, Harriet Jane, Mamie Ruth and Judith Lee.
He is survived by his children, Yvonne Best, Ester Shook and Wade Truesdell; grandchildren, James Shook, Scott and Sheila Best, Kevin Best, Kate Strouckel, Adam Truesdell, Cassie Mealer, Isaac Truesdell, Gwen Slater and LaDonna and Mike Scheel; great-grandchildren, David, Douglas, Nathan and Calin Shook, Tanner Dalton, Katelynn, Addison, Aubrey and Andrea Best, Anthony, Trevor, Tyler, Myka, Braydon and Gavin Truesdell, Amanda Jouiet and Brittany Sebastian; great-great-grandchildren, Michael, Taylor and Dorian; sisters, Martha O'Brian, Dale Templeton, Katherine Shubert and her husband, Welsey; brother, David Truesdell; sister-in-law, Betty Truesdell; and many nieces and nephews.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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