James Robert Perucca, age 85, of Mapleton, passed away on November 6, 2017. He was born February 20, 1932 in Ogden, Utah to Nicholas Perucca and Virginia Austad. He was the oldest of four children; Gerald, Albert and Barbara.
Jim grew up in Ely, Nevada, Twin Falls, Idaho and Ogden, Utah. He graduated from Ogden High School, then served in the Army during the Korean War. It was while serving in the Army that he met and married Helen Gajewski. They had two children; David and Robert.
Jim earned a degree in Electrical Engineering from Cranford College in Union, New Jersey. Pursuing a successful career as an electrical engineer, he worked for AT&T at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill and Holmdel, New Jersey. He has three patents to his name, and co-patented two other devices.
One of Jim’s life-long passions was aviation. He got his license in 1968, earning commercial, instructor, multi-engine, instrument, and instrument instructor certifications. He owned several airplanes and even an airport. He enjoyed teaching flying and sharing his love of aviation with numerous people.
After a divorce, Jim married Clarissa Kinnaman in 1969. They had two children: Douglas and Loretta.
Jim was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of his callings included; assistant manager of the Bishop’s Storehouse and Cannery, temple ordinance worker, and service missionary at LDS Employment Services. His favorite calling, however, was that of Scoutmaster - sharing his love of nature and adventure with his scouts. He is fondly remembered by the countless young men he mentored.
Jim served on the Eatontown Board of Education for 9 years and was proud of the fact that he was elected through a write-in campaign.
After retiring from AT&T in 1996, he refused to slow down. He towed advertising banners along the Jersey shore, continued flight instruction and built his own airplane.
Jim lost Clarissa to cancer in 2006 and moved to Utah to be near family. In 2010, he married Donna Freeborn and welcomed four step-children into his life; Danielle, Patricia, Jay and Britney.
While living his retirement years in Mapleton, Jim loved working in his shop and yard. He also enjoyed target shooting. One of the highlights of the last 16 months of his life was spending time with Patricia’s daughter, Emma. She was always a bright spot in his day.
Husband, father, brother, uncle, scoutmaster, instructor and friend; James touched the lives of many people.
Mr. Perucca is preceded in death by his second wife, Clarissa and his two brothers; Gerald and Albert.
James is survived by his wife Donna, his sister Barbara Johnson, and his children; David, Robert and Douglas Perucca and Loretta Rose; step-children Danielle Smith, Patricia and Jay Freeborn, and Britney Dodson. He leaves behind 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, November 11th at 10 a.m. at the LDS Chapel at 31 W. Maple St., Mapleton, Utah. Burial will be later that day next to Clarissa in the Ogden City Cemetery at 2:30 p.m.