Mr. James A. Klotz, 1922-2008
Father of our friends Peter, ’67; Christine, ’68 and  Daniel.


Mr. James A. Klotz, 1922-2008


James Allen [Jim] Klotz, of Santa Cruz, California died Monday, July 4, 2011 at home in Sunshine Villa. He was preceded in death on December 9, 2008 by his wife of 62 years, Ruth Mary Kamerling Klotz.


A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on July 16, 2011, at First Congregational Church 900 High Street, Santa Cruz.


Jim Klotz is survived by his children Peter William Klotz-Chamberlin, Christine Ruth Klotz and Daniel James Klotz, his daughter-in-law Elizabeth Klotz-Chamberlin, his son-in-law Charles Edwin Henderson as well as his grandchildren Isaac Klotz, Ruth Klotz-Chamberlin, Samuel Klotz, and Maxwell Klotz.


Jim was born October 18, 1922 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In his youth Jim was an active Boy Scout. He continued this connection as a scout leader when his sons were Boy Scouts. Jim enjoyed the outdoors and the family spent many summer vacations camping and hiking. When he moved his family to California for the third time in 1966 he took up sailing, owning several boats before purchasing the Islandia, a thirty foot wooden sloop. Jim and Ruth sailed out of Long Beach, California, and had many adventures in the waters off the coast.


Jim earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University. During World War II Jim was recruited to the research team at the Manhattan Project and joined the Navy where he served until the end of the war. Jim married Ruth Mary Kamerling Klotz, also from Milwaukee, WI in 1946. They moved to Ann Arbor where Jim earned a masters degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan.


In 1948 Jim and Ruth moved to Fullerton, California where Jim worked for Chevron Oil. Jim's work in petroleum research led him to take his family on a series of adventures which included living in Taft, California [1956]; working for Aramco in Abqaiq and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia [1958-60]; working for Pure Oil in Crystal Lake, Illinois [1960-66]; and then back to Fullerton, California [1966] to work for Unocal. His work involved frequent travel to the Gulf Coast and Alaska. After his retirement from Unocal Jim and Ruth moved to Santa Cruz in 1990.


Jim received numerous awards for his work including the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers [SPE] in 1983. He chaired the Distinguished Authors Series for SPE for several years. He was highly respected by his colleagues, and he provided guidance for many emerging professionals in the field of petroleum exploration and drilling. Following his retirement he lectured and consulted in many counties around the world and taught in engineering programs at the University of Southern California and Stanford University.


Jim and Ruth were always active in church life in every community where they lived. In Santa Cruz they were members of First Congregational Church. Jim served as a trustee and on the stewardship committee, and had terms as chair of each.


Jim leaves many friends, relatives, and caregivers who treasured his grace and gratitude during his final years.


In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to First Congregational Church or to the Cabrillo College Stroke Center [6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003].


Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on July 9, 2011. 




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