James (Jim) Milton Lykins, 85, passed away with family by his side on November 6, 2019, in Hayden, Idaho after a long and courageous battle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Jim outlived his prognosis by over two years due to his positive attitude and strong will to accept, adapt, and make the best of the limitations the disease placed on his body. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 64 years, Kathleen (Kay) Keith, who passed away February 2018.
Jim was born on June 27, 1934, in Red Top, Missouri, the second of three children born to Ollie and Jane Lykins. His family moved from Missouri to Sacramento, California, when Jim was 2 years old. He attended Elk Grove High School, where he met Kay. They graduated in 1952, and married May 9, 1953, spending most of their married life in Sacramento, CA where they raised their four children: Linda Schwartz (Dirk) of Hayden, ID, Scott Lykins of Fair Oaks, CA, Donna Giannoni (Bob) of Fort Collins, CO, and Chris Lykins of Folsom, CA. They also lived in Orangevale and Roseville, before moving to North Idaho in April 2016.
In addition to his four children, Jim is survived by his brother Robert (Bob) Lykins and sister, Elizabeth (Betty) Fassler; six grandchildren: Gary Gonzales, Stephanie McClelland (Kevin), Clinton Lykins, Krista Kamm (Ross), Daniel Luallin, and Corinne Lykins; and, four great-grandchildren: Ean and Kayla McClelland, and Harlan and Bridger Kamm.
Jim served in the United States Army from 1955 to 1957, stationed in Japan for sixteen months of his service. After serving in the Army he returned to Sacramento where he attended Sacramento City College and worked the night shift at the Army Depot. After receiving his Business degree from City College, he went into the insurance industry, ultimately becoming an independent agent and owning his own company. After retiring from the insurance industry, he wanted to keep busy, so he began driving busses for ParaTransit in Sacramento and also worked at the Community Center as an usher for concerts and plays. Jim often said driving for ParaTransit was the most rewarding experience for him because he was helping and meeting lots of people.
Jim and his wife, Kay, traveled to many places together including Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica, Bahamas, and numerous places throughout the United States. Jim always loved to bring a smile to others and he did this by telling jokes - always on the lookout for a good joke. He touched many lives with his humor and great advice. His family would like to think of him as entering the next phase of life with a joke…there was this guy who walked into a bar…but, whatever.
A private family memorial will be held in Hawaii where ashes of both Jim and Kay will be spread in the waters near their favorite beach Kauai. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation or Hospice of North Idaho.