It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear husband, father, brother, uncle and friend, Jim Brightwell, on February 3rd, 2021. Jimmy was born on September 1st, 1947, in the Guernsey Lakeside District to Travis and Ruby (Jones) Brightwell. He was the 9th child out of 10. His mother passed away when he was 7 yrs old and when his father was unable to care for the younger children, they were cared for by his sister and brother in law, Nelda Sue & Jack Girty. When they moved to Oklahoma, Jimmy, 10 years old, made his home with sister and brother in law, Bernice & Doe Paolini in Hanford, CA. Jimmy 's siblings & spouses always rallied around one another; their closeness was amazing. Truly a wonderful family. Jimmy graduated from HUHS in 1966. He always enjoyed his class reunions. He felt fortunate to see his old friend at the 50 year reunion, Rocky Harris! Oh, the stories they would share.
Jimmy & Deborah Tolbert were married on the 15th of October, 1971. And together they raised their 4 children, sons, Robert, Dale, Jeffrey and daughter Jennifer. Doe Paolini was a wonderful father figure to Jimmy. He taught him good work ethics at E&P Tire Service, encouraged his love of the outdoors including hunting & fishing. The freezer was always filled with venison, boar, salmon, trout, pheasant, duck and doves.
Jimmy was a fair man and a good man. He would always encourage the children to do the job right the first time so you dont have to repeat it. He taught his children to respect guns and the joys of the outdoors. He taught his children good work ethics. Jim worked 37 years at NAS Lemoore Transportation Dept Heavy Equipment Mechanic & Shop Foreman and retired at 57 years of age. Jimmy was well respected for his knowledge & expertise.
He enjoyed going to the Ranch owned by Bud Rich & Ace Avedisian, San Ardo, CA with his friends and family including Fred (Marliss) Baca, Ray (Joanne) Hawkins, Joe (Barbara) Hamiliton, Doug Shipp, Danny Stewart, Doug Smith, who served as his Best Man when Jim & Deborah married, and many others. But the hunting and fishing trips he loved the most with his sons and son in law. Hunting Trips to Rifle, Colorado were always amazing as was going to Wishon & Courtright Dam. Staying in Tules Meadows with the RV all summer long, fishing and just hanging out. When Granddaughter Stephanie went to Hawaii to play softball, he went, too, with daughter Jennifer and had a fabulous time. He enjoyed watching the kids play ball. He never missed a sporting game at HUHS or COS for Jennifer. Jennifer was her Dads baby girl and he adored her. He encouraged his sons, Robert & Dale to work hard, but take time to play and enjoy their beautiful families. He was so proud of his sons. His son in law, David, was always his favorite son in law. David always had to remind him that he was the only son in law! Jimmy loved him like a son and he loved his two lovely daughter in laws Pat & Kim. He felt blessed and complete knowing his children were happily married.
He coached Little League for 7 years with Ed Rose, while his sons were involved in baseball. Our youngest son had a rare form of Cerebral Palsy called Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome. Jeff was in a wheelchair his whole short life of 20 years. Jim, when he could, would take Jeff with him to do an errand and every year he would take him several times to the Ranch at the coast. Jeffrey loved it. One of his enjoyments was teaching the youth the basics in caring for their trucks and cars. And several times he put a rebuilt engine in someones car for no charge, because he knew that they needed it for their transportation to work. Jimmy loved to dance and so several times a week you could find us on a dance floor! He loved the Hanford Farmers Market, The Laton Lions Jam and of course, The Tachi Palace to listen to the music. He loved the local band of 82 Deluxe and all the others. He was proud of the talent from this area. He loved Country Western & Honky Tonk music and he loved old Rock N Roll. He loved The Melco Dance Reunions. When Deborah (wife) became tired there were some lovely ladies who wanted to dance and he loved it.
I want to thank two lifelong friends who were there for him all the time when he became ill; Albert Heinetz and Jess Hernandez (Karn).
Jimmy was predeceased by parents, his son, Jeffrey, father in law Charles E. Tolbert, all his siblings & spouses: Bernice & Doe Paolini, Vernon Brightwell, Gene & Ina (Petersen) Brightwell, Joanne & Mike Essepian, Donald & Linda (Harris) Brightwell, Nelda Sue & Jack Girty, Carolyn & James Smith, Ronald Brightwell, and Richard Brightwell. Brother in law Bob Tolbert. Nephews Tory Brightwell, Danny Essepian & Brian Trueblood. Niece Deborah Paolini Bassett.
He is survived by his wife, Deborah Tolbert Brightwell, their 50th anniversary would have been this October 15th, 2021, mother in law, Faye Tolbert, son, Robert & Kimberly Brightwell, children; Jerica Tilley, Jacqueline (Fabian) Avalos, Ashley Adams, Shanntel (Rudy) Castro. Son Dale & Patricia Brightwell, children, Chance Brightwell, Brandon Brightwell and Alexa Brightwell. Daughter Jennifer & David Holiday, children, Justin Holiday (Idalia) Stephanie Holiday (Daniel), Dakota Holiday, Hannah White (Trace) and Travis Holiday. Special grands include Khristopher Olivera, Ashley J. Adams & Tayler Olsen. Twenty great grandchildren with one due in September. He leaves behind 29 nieces & nephews, numerous great nieces & nephews. He is also survived by his Brother in law & wife, Richard & Kathy Tolbert, and Sister in law Kimble Tolbert.
Due to covid restrictions, a private service will take place at the Episcopal Church of the Saviour where Jimmy attended and served as an altar boy. Jim and Deborahs son, Jeffrey, is interred at the Church; Jimmys wish was to be with him as well. We welcome family and friends to attend a Celebration of Life on Saturday, April 17th at 12 noon at our son, Dales home; 783 W. Pepper Dr, Hanford, CA 93230. A luncheon will be catered and memories shared along with laughter and tears. In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Autism Speaks online autismspeaks.org and/or your favorite charity of choice.
Family and Friends are invited to view Jimmys legacy at www.peoplesfuneralchapel.com and write condolences.