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James Howard Draper

Jim Draper, 88, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on March 8, 2019.

Jim, a lifelong resident of Santa Maria, was born on August 28, 1930 to Ida and James Draper. He attended Santa Maria High School where he met the love of his life, Edna Rodriguez Draper, in 1947. Then a freshman, Edna's beauty caught Jim's eye when they shared side-by-side lockers. He took her on their first date to the Swiss Chalet, and the rest is history. They dated through high school, married January 21, 1951, and 68 years later made sure to start each morning with a kiss and vowed never to end a day without saying “I love you”.

While attending Santa Maria High School, Jim was an active member of the FFA program. He held the offices of both President and Secretary for SMHS FFA, and attended the National Convention in Kansas City.

After graduating from Santa Maria High School in 1949, Jim went on to play football and box for Cal Poly. He continued his love for athletics by playing semi-pro football for the Santa Maria Redskins which later earned him the “Outstanding Lineman” award through the SMVAC of which he was a member for 50 years.

In 1951, Jim joined Santa Maria Elks Lodge 1538, and in 1965 became only the second member to ever receive the distinction of Elk of the Year. Through his involvement as a lifetime member with the Elks, he participated in several events that served the community. One such event involved traveling around with fellow Elk Butch Simas to collect hides from local cattlemen which they took to be cleaned. They then donated the clean hides to the veteran's hospitals to be used on projects the veterans could later sell for a profit. Jim also took pride in his contributions to the Elks queen float and involvement in the clam feed. He took pride in his ability to give back to the community through the Elks Club, and he and Edna formed many valued friendships over the years through attending various Elks events.

Jim was the proud father of three wonderful children, Vickie, Jimmy, and Michael, and would beam with joy when talking about any one of them. One of his most pride-filled moments was watching Jimmy and Mike play high school football together. His term as President of the SMHS Boosters from 1971-1972 was fueled by his love of watching his sons' athletic successes.

A businessman in Santa Maria for nearly 50 years, Jim owned a hay hauling business, Culligan franchise, and ultimately settled into Draper Trucking from which he retired in 1992. After retirement, Jim and Edna took to the road with their truck and fifth-wheel. They toured all 50 states and parts of Mexico in their travels. They always enjoyed their traveling time together and shared in touring some amazing sights with one another.

Jim enjoyed his time as a Vaquero, attending the annual rides, hunting with friends, and fixing anything he could get his hands on. He was known by his grandchildren as Mr. Fix-it during their childhood; they always knew if something broke, they could take it to Grandpa and he would find a way to fix it for them.

Jim is survived by his wife, Edna Draper; children, Vickie Draper(Joelene), and Jimmy Draper Jr. (Karen); was Grandpa Jim to grandchildren, Jimmy Draper III (Jennifer), Mike Draper (Jessica), Auni Baldwin (Greg), and Alyson Guerra (Kevin); and GGPop eleven great-grandchildren, Karlee, Carson, Dylan, Tyler, Mikey, Finley, McCoy, Baylor, Draper, Malone, and Decker. He was preceded in death by his father, James Draper; mother, Ida Jensen Draper; brother, Lonnie Draper; and son, Michael Draper, whom he missed dearly.

There will be a viewing on Thursday March 14, 2019 from 5 to 6 PM at Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary, followed by a Rosary from 6 to 7 PM. The family desires to honor Jim's wishes for a private, family-only service and burial.

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