OREGON — James Leonard Mechals Sr. passed away May 31, 2016, at the Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital. Jim was born Oct. 1, 1918, in Chinook, Washington, to Charles and Lena (Petit) Mechals.
Jim was the second to the youngest of five brothers and two sisters, and he was the last remaining member of his family.
Jim was a gifted athlete who was selected for All Star teams playing basketball and football in high school. He played on many AAU teams and was recruited by Slats Gill to go to Oregon State University in 1938 to play basketball. As a freshman, Jim was among the best in the class, which included Paul Valentti and Don Durdan.
Jim met Lyola Rae Moore and they were married on March 1, 1939, where his love for playing basketball took a back seat. During World War II, Jim honorably served in the U.S. Navy. They were married for over 77 years until his death.
He was a member of the Chinook Indian Nation.
Jim is survived by his wife, Lyola; son, Jim Jr. and wife Sharon; grandson, Kip and wife Jody; great-grandchildren, Karly and Kade; grandson, Kurt and partner Phil; son, Tom and wife Cheryl; grandson, Josh and wife Anh; great-grandchildren, Ethan and Lucas; grandson, Cory and wife Traci; and great-grandson, Kyler.
A memorial service was held on June 8, at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Lebanon, with attendees wearing black and orange in honor of Jim’s avid support of the Oregon State Beavers.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jim’s honor are encouraged to be sent to St. Jude’s or St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.