James E. Main (86) died on Saturday, August 11, 2012 in Amarillo, Texas. He was born August 19, 1925 in Oklahoma City, OK to Francis E. Main and Hazel Tyner Main. James was just 8 days away from his 87th birthday.
James (Jim) Main married Dorothy Joan (Dot) Steele in Oklahoma City on August 17, 1946. Dorothy (born September 28, 1927) was the daughter of Milan G. Steele and Edith Wyant Steele. Jim was preceded in death by Dot on August 17, 2010.
Dot and Jim’s parents had been friends since their college days at Oklahoma A & M in the early 1920’s and later both the Steele’s and the Mains attended the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in downtown Oklahoma City.
Jim met Dot through church youth activities (CYA) when the Steele’s moved back from Colorado Springs to Oklahoma City in 1942.
Jim worked on the Alcan Highway immediately following his high school graduation until called to the service. He enlisted in the Army on May 31, 1943 and began active service on November 29, 1943 and served until 1946. Jim remained in the Army Reserves for several years after active duty rising to the rank of Captain.
As a veteran of World War II, Jim served in France, Belgium, Germany, Austria and also in the Philippines. He was a Private First Class in Company I, 342nd Infantry Regiment, 86th Infantry Division. Jim’s military occupation was Mortar Gunner and was part of the Central Europe GO 33 WD 45 Campaign. He was decorated with the American Theater Ribbon, the EAMET Ribbon, the APT Ribbon and also received the Good Conduct Medal Victory Ribbon.
After military service and following their marriage, Dot and Jim both attended Oklahoma A&M on Jim’s GI bill, supplementing their income with part time jobs.
Jim graduated from Oklahoma A&M In Stillwater, OK with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1950 (OSU today). He earned a Master’s Degree from West Texas State University in 1968.
After college, Jim made his career in engineering, eventually taking early retirement from Phillips Petroleum Company, where he had been in charge of the nationwide warehousing of rubber from the Borger Copolymer plant. He also worked in real estate, obtaining licenses in both Texas and Colorado.
They made their home in Borger, Texas from 1957 to 1985.
In 1973, they purchased property in Lake City, Colorado, and on July 4th opened the Slumgullion Gift Gallery in the two story brick model-T garage behind the “Green” house . The Slumgullion Gift Gallery proved to be a successful retirement business and continued to be open each summer from the Memorial Day weekend through September. In 1998 they decided to retire from this business and then daughter, Gail, and her husband Mark, bought it and ran the business for some time.
Dot and Jim bought a home in the Ball Flats area of Lake City and remodeled it and moved there in the fall of 1999. Jim was able to build a railroad track house and a panorama for his extensive model train collection. Jim also enjoyed stamp, coin collecting and also played his trumpet with the local Lake City band.
In 2006, Dot and Jim bought a home in Amarillo, Tx for health reasons and moving to a lower altitude was a great improvement. Several large family Christmas gatherings were celebrated during these years. However long term illnesses remained and Jim continued a slow decline with Alzheimer’s disease.
Jim is survived by four children: Jeremy G. Main of Bethesda, MD; Steven E. Main of Loveland, CO: Peter M. Main of Lake City, CO; and Gail Main Frick of Amarillo, TX. Jim is also survived by eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Jim is also survived by his brother and sister: R. Neil Main of Oklahoma City, OK and Ellen Main Knight of Fayetteville AR.
Jim was a lifetime member of the Disciples of Christ Church. His most recent membership was at the First Christian Church in Amarillo, TX. He was also an Associate Member of the Community Presbyterian Church in Lake City, Colorado. Dot and Jim were always active members and participated regularly in choirs and other activities.