In memory of
Michael R. James
Michael R. James
June 30, 1979 - June 29, 2019
Michael was known for his pure energy and love of life, living life to the fullest every moment possible.
Michael was a resident of Boulder, Colo., and a 1997 graduate of Westview High School in Beaverton, Ore. Michael died in a River Surfing accident June 29, 2019 on the Arkansas River near Buena Vista, Colo. He was an experienced river surfer and wore a wet suit, PFD and helmet. The river was flowing high and fast when he was swept downstream late in the day. He was a day away from his 40th birthday.
Michael was also an avid participant in Stand Up Paddle-Boarding, Downriver Paddle-Boarding, Paddle Board Surfing and River Surfing, (without the pole) as well as Disc Golf. He was a lover of good food and drink, especially stinky cheese, Asian cuisine and good Franconian beers, plus was known to lay down melodic grooves on the guitar. An avid seeker of adventure, he enjoyed traveling the world, spending as much time as possible in the wilderness, snowboarding in winter and biking in summer.
Michael was a software developer for Unidata, part of UCAR, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder. He worked on and improved GEMPAK and AWIPS, tools used for weather analysis and forecasting across the U.S. Not only was Michael an outstanding software developer, he was extraordinarily generous in helping the meteorological community in their use of these tools. He regularly traveled to universities to meet and train students and faculty and was always looking for ways to make the tools more useful in the academic environment.
Michael was born in Portland June 30, 1979, to Rozann Davis, of Cornelius, and Thomas James, of Beaverton. Michael earned both Bachelor's and Masters degrees in meteorology from The University of Oklahoma. He married Ann Myatt in 2005. They divorced.
He will be greatly missed by his parents; his brother, David and sister-in-law, Katie; niece, Angel; nephews, Sean, Isaac, Josh and Elijah. He will also be missed by his grandmother, Delores; and a large group of cousins, aunts and uncles. He will also be missed by his girlfriend, Magui Martinez-Pena of Boulder. His cat, Toro, has been taken in by Michael's friend Diane, of Denver.
To honor Michael's life and impact on his community, work, family and friends, a permanent memorial park bench will be erected in the near future in the Valmont Disc Golf Park in Boulder, Colo. Michael was frequently found playing Valmont throughout the week and was a participant in the Boulder Disc Golf Club.
With his warm personality and polite demeanor, he touched many lives at work and at play, in Boulder and in many other communities. There has been a massive outpouring of grief, along with heartfelt tributes, from his many friends and colleagues throughout the world, as we have all lost a caring, fun-loving, compassionate man.
A happy celebration of Michael's life is at 2 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, at the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse. Friday the 13th would appeal to Michael's wry sense of humor.
Please sign the online guest book at www.oregonlive.com/obits
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