Jim Meade, 103, of Fortuna, passed away peacefully on January 11, 2024, in Fortuna. Born on April 28, 1920, in Eureka, Jim was a beloved father, brother and friend. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Jim, also known as James Martin Meade, was a cheerful and positive individual with an very active social life. He had a great love for his family and made it a point to call them every day. Jim’s warm and caring nature endeared him to those around him.

Jim is survived by his children: Sue Tresback of St. Louis, Dian Jung of Bakersfield, Tim Meade of Fortuna, and Bruce Meade of Hawaii.

He is also survived by his siblings: Don Yarger of Palm Springs and Ken Meade of Alhambra. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Clark Sidney Meade and Florence Virginia McNamara, his wife Alma, his son James Meade Jr. (Little Jim), and seven siblings.

Orphaned at the age of 15 Jim continued his education through St. Bernard Primary School, Ferndale High School and Humboldt State University. He had a strong passion for aviation and served in the U.S. Army Reserve for one year and the U.S. Navy for three years. Jim was a pioneer helicopter pilot, co-developer of Rohnerville Airport, and served as a pilot for the U.S. Forest Service in the California Fire Division. Jim and “Little Jim” received the Outstanding Civilian Service medal from the Department of Army for their efforts in the 1964 flood relief. Jim was also the founder of a major ultralight plane manufacturing company called Mitchell Aircraft.

In his free time, Jim enjoyed indulging in his hobbies, which included flying planes and riding motorcycles. His major love was a passion for the sea, and he spent several years of his retirement sailing the world, mostly solo on his sailboats. He also enjoyed building model airplanes and engaging in numerous social activities.

A Celebration of Life with Military Honors will be held on February 23 at 1 p.m. at Fortuna’s Veteran Hall. Goble’s Funeral Home in Fortuna is assisting the family with the funeral arrangements.

Jim’s memory will forever be cherished by his family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched. He will be remembered for his kind heart, adventurous spirit, and contributions to the aviation industry. May he rest in peace.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Jim Meade’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.