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May 8, 2012 > Obituary: James C. Cantrell

Obituary: James C. Cantrell

James Cantrell passed into eternal peace on Monday, April 9, 2012 at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Fremont, California after a short, but brave battle with cancer. James was born February 9, 1953, in Pasadena, California to James and Barbara Cantrell. He was the oldest of three children and was frequently referred to as the scholar and athlete of the family. James served as a role model and set the standards for his younger siblings.

James attended Howard University in Washington, DC, where he studied Business Administration, played football and developed a love and expertise in Judo. His proficiency in Judo resulted in his selection to train for the 1984 Olympics and the 1985 World Judo Championships at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. While in Colorado, James continued his education and received a BS degree in Business Administration from Colorado College.

James worked in the financial division of Mervyn's corporate offices for 15 years. He served in various positions such as Auditor, Systems Administrator, and supervisor of the financial reporting department. He also worked as an Auditor for the Lockheed Corporation and as senior program analyst for George Washington University.

James was an avid lover of animals. He previously raised Scottish terriers that competed and placed in various competitions. His animals were his children. Upon learning of his medical condition, he meticulously ensured that Max, his horse, Sugar Bear, his Border collie and Pretty Boy, his cockatiel were placed where they would be treated in the loving manner to which they were accustomed.

James loved to travel and was extremely adventurous. After leaving Mervyns in 2005, James decided to learn how to care for horses. He purchased a horse and spent his remaining years as a "cowboy" where he honed his craft and taught riding classes for children. In his limited spare time, he travelled. Two of his most memorable trips were to Nigeria where he went on a nighttime safari; encountered a herd of elephants and felt the earth shake as they moved; and Alaska, where he caught a huge salmon while fishing and camping.

James was extremely amiable; epitomized friendship and loved to have fun. His glowing smile would make any foe a friend. His friendship, love and astuteness will forever be missed by all.

James was preceded in death by his father, James C. Cantrell and brother, David Gordon Cantrell. He is survived by his mother Barbara Cantrell of Crestline, CA, his brother, Stefan (Valerie) Cantrell of Oakland and his devoted and lifelong friends: Charles and Pat Ford, Margo Johnson who was with him in his last days, Dwight (Jennifer) Jones, Nelson (Charisse) Adamson, Wayne Johnson, Lubor Jarolimek, Leo White, Steve Matulac, friends and teammates of the Olympic Training Center and a host of nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles and other family members and friends.

James was grateful for the care, love and attention he was shown by the staff at Kaiser Permanente Hospital and wanted to make sure that they were properly thanked. He was treated "like a king" from the time he entered the hospital until God called him home. James' friends and family will forever be grateful to the Kaiser Permanente Hospital staff.

Per James' request, no formal services will be held. Instead, James requested that you honor him by doing something "fun." In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Dublin Creek Animal Foundation, Dublin California, in James' honor.

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