James Charles Root, Bennett, Colorado, was born August 1, 1937, in Springfield, Colorado, to Clarence W. and Mary Margaret Root. He attended school in Walsh, Colorado, and graduated in 1955. As a youngster, he was fascinated by anything with wheels and was constantly building things.
After graduation, he went into the Army and was eventually assigned to the Pentagon motor pool—more wheels! A perfect fit. During this stint, he chauffeured a general from Liberal, Kansas who would ask for Jim as his driver each time he was in DC. He also met Jimmy Stewart and chauffeured the Colorado Cherry Blossom Princess in the Cherry Blossom parade two years in a row.
Jim met a wonderful young lady, Kathy Renner, while traveling and they were married on September 16, 1962, in Bennett, Colorado. They lived in Aurora early in their marriage and welcomed two children: James Dean “JD”, in 1963 and Sherry Lynn in 1965. The family then moved to Bennett, and made their home in the country where they were involved with 4-H, FFA, FBLA and many other school and community activities.
Jim provided for his family as an over-the-road trucker. As a teenager, Jim began driving the big rigs for T.L. Tucker. During his career, he drove for Keene Lighting, Western Distributing, and Northwest Transports from which he retired. Feeling the call of the road once again, Jim came out of retirement and drove for Gates Rubber Company. By his own estimation, during his career, he drove a grand total of six million miles, the equivalent of 12.5 times to the moon and back! He hauled everything from motorcycles to Jim Beam, and even once hauled light fixtures into New York City. In 2000, he was recognized with a high honor when the Colorado Motor Carrier Association named Jim “Mileage Driver of the Month” and “Driver of the Year.”
One day when Jim was asked what part of the country he found the most beautiful when he was trucking, he replied, “Oh, there are the mountains and then the desert, and the oceans and the countryside! It’s all pretty. ALL of it!” Jim definitely loved this magnificent country and could tell you the highways and byways of most any state!
Jim was gifted with a tremendous memory and could recount wonderful stories reaching back to his childhood, he had a good sense of humor...always ready with a comment or quote, and made time to visit with everyone. In his later years, he especially had a sparkle in his eye when he talked of his family, and his grandchildren and lately, his great-grandchildren!
He was six foot, six inches tall so he had a good view of the world around him! Jim loved animals and he and his wife, Kathy, treasured their draft horses, and one of their great joys was driving them in parades and weddings, and showing at the National Western Stock Show one year. Jim and the big horses were a good match, and they also had some darling mini horses that brightened their lives!
Over the years, Jim thoroughly enjoyed reading the newspaper, often from front to back! He was a huge fan of the Fence Post magazine and columnists Baxter Black and Lee Pitts and he especially loved watching everything on RFD-TV! He and Kathy were country through and through.
Jim was a member of Mountain View Fellowship of Strasburg, CO, the Teamsters Union and the Colorado Draft Horse Association.
Jim went to his heavenly home on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, in Bennett, Colorado. He was preceded in death by his wife, Kathy; son JD; and his parents. He is survived by his devoted daughter Sherry and son-in-law, Tom Wulff; granddaughter Kasey Pera and her husband Charles; granddaughter Lexie Wulff; and great-grandchildren Luca and Esmé Pera, all from Manhattan, Montana; as well as lots of family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, you are welcome to make contributions to “Samaritan’s Purse Ministries” at www.samaritanspurse.org under Memorial Giving.