ClayChat
Obituaries



James Clara

b.1954 - d.2004


James Clara




Emails and Forum Postings

Jim was undoubtably a well known character in the automotive sculpting world and also very well thought of.

Oct 4th, 2004

It is with great sadness today I have to announce that Jim Clara died on Saturday afternoon (2nd October 2004).

He was only 49 years old. He had been ill for some time but in the last couple of months he was diognosed with cancer.

His family were with him at the end and he died peacefully. He will be cremated and his ashes will be scattered at the Big Sur, a place that Jim loved to be.

There will be a memorial service soon and I will keep you posted. He will be sadly missed by the modelling community.

Jeff McGahey
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Oct 5th, 2004

It is with great sadness to hear the news about Jim, I send deepest condolances to his family and friends.

He was a real character and fun inside and out of work I had some great times with him , he helped make my time in California very special.

Thinking of you jim

Simon Rollason
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Oct 5th, 2004

Richard Dakins and I were with Jim the day before he was set free from his pain.
He really enjoyed the multi colored roses in the coke bottle I brought him from my garden.

Jim loved nature and especially his freedom to choose and go where he wanted. He loved his work and he took pride in doing the very best he could whether a clay model or his stained glass projects.

I have known Jim from the old ACC GM days to VW-Audi Simi Valley Days. I will miss him and his great attitude about life!
As I see it he is free to go where and when he wants in total appreciation of his Universe.

Sail on Jim..have a good one.... we won't forget you.

Den Swinburne
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Oct 8th, 2004

I worked with Jim for some years in SoCal. Made the work day pass quickly with his unique take on the world. Glad he had friends by his side when the time came.

Thinking of you, Yimmy, RIP

Greg Swan
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Oct 13th, 2004

I first met Jim in the early 70ís at Chrysler Design, then worked together at General Motors Design Center. We have been best friends for all of these years.

I want to let the friends of the Jim Clara know that a Memorial Service will be held at 9:30am, Saturday, October 16, 2004 at St. Paul of Tarsus, 41300 Romeo Plank Rd. Clinton Township, Michigan.

Mark Richards
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Oct 13th, 2004

I have had the opportunity to work with Jim both as a co-worker at Volkswagen of America and as his manager at General Motors.

In both instances he has been an ambassador to the sculpting community.
His enthusiasm and natural ability offered trainees a perfect insight into the world of automotive design modeling.

With his friendly and positive attitude towards any project, it made him the ideal candidate to ease any new sculptor into their position on their first day at work.

Life is cruel, he is a big loss to our community

My condolences go out to his family and friends on this very sad occasion, he will be greatly missed.

Steve Austin
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Oct 19th, 2004

It is with great sadness I have learnt of the death of Jim Clara.
I worked with Jim at GM in SoCal in 2000 and enjoyed his humour and love of life. He was a superb craftsman who loved to pass on his Knowledge, and I will treasure the many fine tools he made for me.

He will be sorely missed.

Neville Gillett
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Oct 25th, 2004

I was fortunate to do projects with Jim during his days at TFX and work with him at VW & Audi Simi Valley.

He was one hell of a character and a master of our trade.
We will miss him greatly and I for sure will never forget him.

My thoughts go out to his family and loved ones.

Hans Lapine
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A Memorial was held at GM 5350 Design Studio in Hollywood California shortly after his death.

A plaque was unveiled in the grounds of the studio and colleagues remembered Jim with their personnel memories of the past times with him, it was a very touching afternoon thinking of times past.

We knew that Jim wouldn't want us to be so sad on this occasion so we showed a video of a happier time in his life when he won a bet at ACC Newbury Park that he could eat a Tequila Worm, tequila worms are in some bottles of tequila and absorb the alcohol , they are like alcohol bombs so they froze the worm on a stick and bet Jim that he couldn't eat it but he did, and won the bet.

Click here to see the video.

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Last Update: 06 November2007