Service Friday for James Crittenden, former Ladera resident

Blue-water sailor, peace advocate

A memorial service is set for Friday, April 22, in Tiburon for world traveler and former Ladera resident James C. Crittenden, who died March 29 in San Rafael at the age of 94.

The service starts at 11 a.m. in the Community Congregational Church at 145 Rock Hill Drive in Tiburon.

Mr. Crittenden was a native of Seattle, grew up in California, and studied art and industrial arts at San Jose State University until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943.

As a lieutenant during World War II, he managed equipment maintenance in the Pacific Theater and visited Hiroshima, site of an atomic bomb drop, and Tokyo, which had been fire-bombed by U.S. forces. In Europe after the war, he saw more damage from wartime bombing, and the experiences led him to become an advocate for peace and international understanding, and to make friends all over the world.

Mr. Crittenden returned to college in San Jose after the war and went on to teach art and industrial design in Mountain View schools. He married Isobel Heath in 1949, and in 1950, the couple toured Europe by bike and car. They moved to Ladera in 1951, raised three children and were founding members of the Ladera Community Church.

On sabbatical in the late 1950s, Mr. Crittenden studied fine arts at Stanford University and the family spent time in New Zealand, where Mr. Crittenden studied Maori art.

In the 1960s, after discovering a passion for sailing, the Crittendens cruised to ports in Europe, the Pacific Northwest and Mexico. When Isobel died in 1977, Mr. Crittenden bought a boat, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and cruised the eastern Mediterranean Sea and the waters around Scandinavia.

He married Doris Schwarz in 1986 and they settled in Marin County. His artistic skills included painting, sculpting and playing the trombone. He also collected and repaired old cars and completely restored a 1930 Chrysler.

Mr. Crittenden was preceded in death by his wife Isobel in 1977 and by his wife Doris in 2011. He is survived by his daughter Winnie in Sausalito, sons Max of Menlo Park and Russell of San Rafael, step-daughter Nancy Jackson of Capitola, 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


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