Obituary: James Gaston
March 1, 1942 – March 26, 2021
After a short illness, Jim passed away in the comfort of his home, in the company of family, on March 26, 2021.
Jim was a long-time Truckee resident, living and working in Glenshire for the past 40 years.
Born in Fort Benning, GA, Jim grew up in the Oakland, CA area, graduating from Oakland High School in 1961. Following graduation, he joined the US Army where he proudly served until his retirement in 1995.
Jim had a passion for the outdoors, and was always happiest in the mountains or on training exercises with his team. He was Command Sergeant Major for the 12th Special Forces Airborne Group, and completed over 700 jumps in his career. During his service he spent time in Alaska, Canada, Australia, Panama, and Thailand. Among his many awards, he received the Legion of Merit, one of the military’s most prestigious awards, which is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct and outstanding service.
Jim worked for Siegle’s Gun Shop in Oakland, CA for many years, and began his own business, Sierra Gunsmith Services in 1980. He took pride in being one of the few gunsmiths doing things ‘the old way,’ preferring to work on antique rifles and quality firearms, and treated his work like the art it was.
He especially enjoyed mentoring young people. Whether it was teaching his daughter’s girl scout troop wilderness survival skills, or guiding a young soldier in his career, or teaching high school students about gun safety, he was always generous with his time and expertise.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Marion, and his first wife, Carolyn.
He will be greatly missed and always remembered by his loving wife Sharon, his daughter and son-in-law Michelle and Steve, his granddaughters Liz and Natalie, his sister and brother-in-law Pam and Carl, John and Danila MacDonald and family, Scott and Mary Ann MacDonald, his niece and nephews, cousins, and countless lifelong friends and teammates.
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