May 22, 2013

Jim Garfield

Jim Garfield, loving father and well known community leader, passed away on May 14, 2013 at the age of 76. Jim was born and raised on a farm in Pennsylvania and attended college at Cleveland State University. After college, he married his wife Carole in 1957 and their son, Mark, was born in 1959. They moved to Santa Ana, CA in 1962, where their son Scott was born.

Jim and his family moved to Santa Paula in 1964, where he worked for an irrigation supplies company, eventually becoming Operations VP. He then became VP of a solar heating company and served as state president of the Solar Energy Industries Association of CA.

He was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church for over 45 years and served in many capacities including as a deacon, an elder and a trustee. He enjoyed singing with the church choir as well as the Half Notes, a singing group that performed throughout the county.

Jim entered the real estate business in 1984 and became a broker in 1987. In 1991 he became an owner of Cal West Real Estate. During this time, he was extremely active in serving the community of Santa Paula and was named Citizen of the Year in 1986. Jim was a former president of Meals on Wheels, American Heart Association, Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce and Santa Paula/Fillmore Board of Realtors. He also served as chair of the Boys and Girl’s Club Auction and the Santa Paula 2002 Centennial Committee.

In addition, Jim served the community through four years on the City Council, including one year as Mayor in 1999. He was also the founding president of the Heritage Valley Tourism Board, as well as a board director for the Santa Clara Valley Wellness Foundation, a group instrumental in reopening Santa Paula Hospital.

Professionally, he was honored as the 2005 Owner/Broker of the Year by the Ventura County Coastal Association of Realtors.

Jim dedicated his life to serving the community. He loved Santa Paula for what it is and what it could become. And although he was a visible community leader, those close to him knew that he also performed countless small acts of kindness, service and generosity to anyone who needed help.

During his later years, his wife Carole was bedridden with cancer and Jim took on a new role - full time caregiver until her death in 2012.

Jim will be missed for his well-known and endless sense of humor. He always seemed to have a joke or a humorous story for you and was always willing to share them. He truly seemed to know everyone in town, whether it was the downtown merchant, the grocery store clerk or the ranch owner. He was the ultimate “people person”.

Jim is survived by his son, Mark of Arroyo Grande, CA and son, Scott and daughter-in-law Sarah of Petaluma, CA. He leaves behind granddaughter Kaitlyn, a sophomore at UC Santa Barbara, and grandson Ryan, a high school junior.

A Celebration of Life Ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 15 at 1 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church at 121 Davis Street in Santa Paula. 

For map and directions to ceremony location and to sign the family’s online guest book and share stories please visit our website: and locate Jim’s name under “Recent Obituaries”.

Funeral Arrangements are under the direction of the Family Owned & Operated Robert Rey Garcia Jr Funeral Svcs., Santa Paula, CA  805.229.7054.

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