James Merle Weston
February 3, 1938 to December 26, 2016 - The longtime Estacada resident and auto dealer was 78.
Longtime Estacada resident, Jim Weston, passed away at Mt. Hood Medical Center on Monday, December 26, 2016. He was 78.
At his request, a private family gathering was held.
James Merle Weston was born on February 3, 1938 in Altoona, Pennsylvania to Merle and Esther (Walls) Weston. Soon after his birth, the family moved to Viola, Oregon where Jim attended grade school through the 4th grade. When the school closed he began 6th grade at Estacada Elementary, where he was to meet Sharon Hayden, later to become his wife of 60 years.
As a young man, Jim helped his father raise and sell cattle, and developed a strong work ethic that would be his hallmark throughout his life.
At Estacada High School he distinguished himself as an outstanding athlete, excelling at baseball and football. He made many lifelong friends while in high school and had since hosted many class reunions, most recently their 60th, held this past year.
After high school graduation, Jim and Sharon were married and Jim attended Portland State University. In 1957, he enlisted in the Oregon Army National Guard, and received his honorable discharge in 1963. Jim and Sharon moved to North Portland with their young family. There he worked for the Oregon Journal as a paper route coordinator, managing a group of delivery boys.
A family friend told him one day that he would be an excellent car salesman. Jim applied for a sales position at Vic Bowman Pontiac GMC in Oregon City. He sold cars there for 8 years before being promoted to the position of Sales Manager, and shortly thereafter to the position of General Manager. In 1974, Jim left his position with that company, seeking to acquire a dealership of his own.
In February, 1975, he assumed control and ownership of the Pontiac GMC Jeep dealership in Gresham and Jim Weston Pontiac was born. The dealership was located on East Burnside and operated at that facility for 12 years. Under the previous ownership, the dealership had lost money for 19 consecutive months, and was in last place for sales volume in the Northwest region.
During the very first month of operation, Jim Weston Pontiac posted record sales for that location, and moved from last to first place in the region.
Jim's vision was, and is, of a dealership that is in the people business. Today, the dealership employs more than 100 people who continue to enjoy and participate in the legacy of Jim's vision and commitment to excellence, hard work and customer service.
Jim's family, friends and community remember him not only for his business success, but also for his faith and his love of the Lord. Attending church was vitally important to him, and he lived his life in obedience to God.
Blessed with a beautiful, rich, baritone voice, Jim loved to sing. He sang at countless weddings and celebrations, and often performed at his church. As was his custom, Jim sang his beloved Easter Song at his church this past year.
Jim's generous spirit is legendary. He would often tell his children that the most fun and the best feeling a person can ever have, is to be able to give to others. His philanthropy was constant in good times and bad, and was a source of great joy and comfort for him. He never missed an opportunity to give, to "treat", to help, to advise, and to make life easier if he could for friend and stranger alike. His time and his resources were always flowing toward others, from volunteering hundreds (probably thousands) of hours on his bulldozer for people, to working to fund and build the Veteran's Memorial in Estacada. For him, it was what life was all about. We will likely never know all who benefited from his enormous heart and love for people.
Jim Weston is survived by his wife Sharon, his son Jay and wife Helen, his son Jan and wife Leann, his daughter Jeni and husband Dave, his four grandchildren Joshua, Jacob, Hayes and Cade, and his three great-grandchildren Jocelyn, James, and Elijah. He is missed more than we can express.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Weston Family Estacada Athletic Fund at any US Bank or Key Bank.
Arrangements are being coordinated by Estacada Funeral Chapel.