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James 'Jim' Mathew Welden

James (Jim) Mathew Welden, 70, passed away February 29, 2016 at his home in Medford, Ore. following his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Jim was born August 17, 1945 to George and Mary Jane (Connor) Welden in Rockford, Ill.  He grew up there, graduating from Auburn High School in 1963. Jim continued his education at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. graduating in 1968 with a degree in forestry. He began his career in Coos Bay, Ore. with the Bureau of Land Management in June of 1968. He enlisted in the United States Army in October 1968, serving in Thailand until 1972. After his military service, he returned to the Bureau of Land Management  having been assigned to the Medford, Ore. office in 1972. Jim worked for the BLM for 37 years, retiring in 2005.

Jim had a great love for the outdoors and activities outside. He was an avid softball player, playing with the same team for over 40 years. He started the team with many friends and coworkers, and over the years their children joined the team as they grew up. He loved to go camping, rafting, fishing, or just hiking in the woods talking to his trees. But his passion was fishing in Wisconsin for muskie and northern pike.

Jim was member of the Society of American Foresters, a member of the V.F.W. American Legion, served as a court visitor for Jackson County, and served on the Board of the Winema Council of Girl Scouts.

A bachelor until he was 39, Jim's life was turned upside down in 1984, by the love of his life, Betty and kids, Tau and Tonya. Jim cherished family and family values. Jim had the biggest heart and kindest soul; he would do anything for family, friends, or anyone in need. Jim had six grandchildren, who were the light of his life. The highlight of his life was taking the grandchildren to Wisconsin to fish last summer.

Jim is survived by his beloved wife, Betty; children Tau Swearingen (Wyndy), and Tonya Sowles (Anthony); grandchildren, Dominic Sorini, Jackson Sowles, Gracie Swearingen, JR Swearingen, Emma Sowles, and Sean Swearingen; brother, Edward Welden (Carol) of Las Vegas, Nev.; and many nieces, nephews, and family he loved. He was preceded in death by his son, Matthew Welden; sister Sharon (Welden) Knizek; and his parents, George and Mary Jane Welden.

There will be a viewing from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday, March 4, 2016 at Perl Funeral Home, Siskiyou Memorial Park, 2100 Siskiyou Blvd, Medford Oregon. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, March 5, 2016 at the same location.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or to the charity of your choice in Jim’s honor.