James Allen Gualco, age 93, died at home in Elk Grove, CA surrounded by family on Wednesday, August 12, 2020. Jim was born in Sacramento and lived most of his life in Sacramento County. He attended Sacramento High School and went on to Sacramento City College for a semester before attending UC Berkeley and Hastings Law School, graduating in 1955. Jim married Margaret Anne Leary in 1952 and they lived in San Francisco on Russian Hill until moving to Walnut Grove. He opened his law practice in 1956 and was elected judge of the Walnut Grove-Isleton Judicial District in 1958, the youngest Justice Court Judge in California, where he presided for 24 years. He had law offices in both Walnut Grove and Sacramento, and for a period of time practiced law with his brothers Reynold and Eugene.
Family was a huge priority to Jim. He is predeceased in death by his first wife, Margaret, his brother, Reynold Gualco, his sister Marian (Gregory Dunn), his twin sister, Jacquelyn Gualco and his granddaughter, Katelyn Henning.
In 1999, Jim married Marilyn Kellogg and moved to Elk Grove. Jim leaves behind a wonderful legacy: his wife Marilyn; his children Jack Gualco (Barbara Gualco), Lisa Gualco, Anne Henning (Tom Henning), and Mary Lobaugh (Mark Lobaugh); his brother Eugene Gualco (Dorothy Gualco), brothers- in-law Dennis and Michael Leary, sisters-in-law, Mary Ellen Barnard and Frances Gualco; his stepchildren, Stephen Kellogg (Susan Kellogg), Peggy Phister (Thomas Phister), Barbara Zarecky (Barry Zarecky); his grandchildren, Sarah Henning, Haley Lobaugh, Joseph and Gregory Phister, Becky Tavella, Erin Howard, Daniel Kellogg, Emily Barnes and Cole and Jared Zarecky, as well as 15 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews, all of whom he greatly influenced.
Jim volunteered with over 25 organizations in Walnut Grove and Sacramento. He was very active in St. Anthony's Catholic Church and served as a lector, organized the annual church picnic, assisted the nuns with finances, and so much more. Jim was a lifetime member of the Sutter Club with over 50 years of active membership. He was the President of the Walnut Grove Rotary where he served for 62 years. Jim also sat on the board of the Paul Barnes Community Park. Gardening was a passion, and he was an accomplished gardener. Jim planted a victory garden during WWII and flower gardens in the Paul Barnes Community Park. He planted pots of petunias for many weddings on the Delta, becoming known as “Jimmy the Gardener”. In his retirement years, Jim orchestrated many amazing trips, both abroad and domestic, with Marilyn and family.
A private family Catholic service will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Friends of the Walnut Grove Library, P.O. Box 40, Walnut Grove, CA 95690 or to a charity of the donor's choice.