Former Nevada County Democratic Party chairman Jim Firth dies at 70 |

Former Nevada County Democratic Party chairman Jim Firth dies at 70

Former chairman of the Nevada County Democratic Party Jim Firth (center, watching election night results in June 2014) died Saturday.
John Hart/ | The Union

Kristine Firth remembers her father as someone who loved to try different recipes.

When she thinks of Jim Firth, who died this week, she pictures a man cooking a meal for his family.

“You’d wake up and he’d say, ‘What do you want in your omelet?’” Kristine Firth said.

Firth — a former chairman of the Nevada County Democratic Party and twice a candidate for Grass Valley City Council — died early Saturday, June 17, in New York. He was 70.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Firth and his wife moved in 2008 to Nevada County. He remained politically active and joined the local Democratic Party. Jim Firth served as the local party’s chairman from 2011 to 2016.

“He was always willing to try different ways of doing things,” said Margaret Joehnck, a former chairwoman of the organization. “Tireless — he was a tireless worker and supporter of the Democratic Party.”

According to Joehnck, the local Democratic Party has steadily grown since 2005 and Jim Firth contributed to that growth. Nevada County had more registered Democrats than Republicans in the November election.

“The building blocks were put in during Jim’s years,” she said.

Peter Minett, current chairman of the local Democrats, worked alongside Jim Firth during his years here.

“Jim was a great guy,” Minett said. “He cared deeply about our country and state. He worked steadily, persistently, almost tirelessly for causes he believed in. He was well liked, well organized, insightful and a good friend.”

Minett remembers attending Jim Firth’s 65th birthday party, what Firth termed a “Medicare party.” Minett said Firth regularly celebrated milestones on the personal level while also looking at the bigger picture — Medicare at age 65, for example.

Nevada County was a post-retirement home for Jim Firth, a place he and his wife chose out of several spots, his daughter said.

“They looked at different areas — parts of Oregon, parts of California, but they really liked Nevada County,” she said.