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James Leo Spaletta
December 20, 1930 ~ January 6, 2024 (age 93) 93 Years Old
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James ‘Jim’ Leo Spaletta, of Valley Ford, California, passed away at home on the night of January 6, 2024 at the age 93.
Jim was born in a farmhouse in Petaluma on December 20, 1930, to Charles and Eda Spaletta of Petaluma, both of Swiss-Italian descent.
Jim is survived by his loving companion and wife Rosemary Steiss, along with his brother Domingo ‘DeeDee’ Spaletta, his brother John ‘Moe’ Spaletta, Jim’s children Ernie and wife Nichola Spaletta, Kathy Spaletta and husband Bill Lage; eleven grandchildren and their spouses and ten great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Jim started out on his parents’ dairy farm pulling a horse to move and feed hay to their Holstein cows as a young boy. He later milked cows by hand along with his mother Eda and his 6 younger siblings. He would haul the milk in cans to his school where the local creamery would pick up the cans from the school parking lot. At the age of 19, Jim moved to Point Reyes and revitalized an old farm to a Grade A Dairy. At 21 he met his late wife Marian (Musico) and moved to a neighboring property where he built a milking parlor, barns and raised five children. In the mid 80’s Jim moved to Valley Ford and started raising Suffolk sheep and various breeds of beef cattle.
Jim was an active member of the West Marin Community and served on several boards as well as coaching the local baseball team. Jim was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Marin County Farm Bureau and was presented the award by the Marin County Board of Supervisors in 2013. Jim was a lifelong member of the Marin County Farm Bureau and served as president for many years. Jim was also a past president and member of the Lions Club of West Marin and Dairyman’s Milling Company. Jim was a longtime member of the Druids and Native Sons organizations.
Jim was known for his keen sense of business and always wanted to be kept up to date with the latest news. You could usually catch him grabbing the latest paper in town. Jim was an avid sports fan and enjoyed attending games at the local high school in Tomales. Jim had a love for card games, especially King Pedro. He was stern but enjoyed a good laugh. He kept everyone around him on their toes.
Jim was a true cowboy and rancher. He dedicated his life to family and stewardship of his land and animals. He was a beloved patriarch with the help of his late wife Marian. Jim was a pillar of strength and was generous as well as kind to those around him including extended family, friends, and neighbors. Jim’s legacy will continue to live on in the hearts and memories of us all.
Jim was preceded in death by his late wife Marian, his sons Jimmy, Jeff ‘Boo Boo’, and Stevie, and his siblings Charles ‘Bud’ Spaletta, Barbara ‘Suzie’ Fomasi, Helen Cristiani, and Henry ‘Hank Spaletta.
Jim’s family would like to thank his friends and neighbors for their loving and never-ending support of Jim and a special thank you to his wonderful caregiver Lala Waininiu.
Family and friends are invited to attend the Funeral Mass, Saturday, January 20, 2024 at 12:00 p.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Petaluma. A visitation will be held prior on Friday, January 19, 2024 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Parent-Sorensen Mortuary & Crematory in Petaluma.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to be made to your favorite charity.