Contributor: vwsheldon Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago
REMARKS AT JIM (JAMES KLINKEL) ALLEMAN’S FUNERAL: JANUARY 2, 2010 – DOB JANUARY 17, 1921 – DOD DECEMBER 27, 2009
Jim’s life had three main divisions: 1) His boyhood on the farm, and growing up in Springville, which ended after two years at Utah State University; 2) His 30+ year military career as an officer in the United States Navy; and 3) His years in retirement, spent mostly here in this neighborhood.
Something happened to him in his early years that influenced all the rest: On August 30, 1932, he received a Patriarchal Blessing in which the following was said to him: “Your Guardian Angel shall have charge concerning you and you shall receive promptings from the Still Small voice.” Jim acknowledged that guidance when he was delivered from danger:
1) On a winter duck hunt as a teenager, he broke through the ice, was entirely soaked, and resisted the desire to lie down and take a nap in the sub-zero temperature. Instead, he covered the several miles from the farm to his home doing the scout pace; and was saved from freezing.
2) Irrigating on the farm with Karl, they were both knocked unconscious by a bolt of lightning that struck the ground between them, leaving a scorched circle 10 feet across.
3) Flying a Kingfisher on patrol off Samoa on his first active duty station, just after Pearl Harbor, he found himself in the fury of a typhoon. All the navigational instruments failed. After initial bewilderment, he was inspired to know exactly what to do. After flying through the eye of the storm, and as his fuel ran out, he broke into clear weather and found himself in sight of his base on British Samoa. He landed in the lagoon, taxied to within 100 yards of the ramp when the engine quit-out of gas. But the wind was behind him and blew the plane right up to the ramp!
4) On Guadalcanal in 1942, before the island was fully secured, he was assigned to locate a site for a new airfield, since Henderson Field was inadequate for the massive operation of allied air and land forces. A possible site 30 miles east of Henderson was inspected and found unsuitable. A later site looked promising, and he went over it more closely, protected by two marines. As they sat down to rest on a game trail through the 6-7 foot tall buffalo grass, they were alerted by rustling up the trail. As they crouched with guns ready, “a monster crocodile, at least eighteen feet long” appeared “only about five feet away.” Seeing each other at the same time, the croc straightened his bent legs and “stood at least four feet high.” Jim wrote: “He turned and in a flash was gone. Sure beats ‘he opened his mouth and in a flash we were gone’.”
5) A couple of days later, they returned to this site to flag the field for the engineers. This time they had a rugged command car with two mounted machine guns manned by three marines. “About half way through the field, the truck started to heat up. The radiator was plugged with grass. I crawled along the hood and fender and stepped down in front of the truck. After cleaning most of the grass from the radiator, I looked down at my feet to find I had stepped between three trip wires strung between hand grenades tied to short stakes. Had I stepped on either wire, the pins would have been pulled from the grenades; or, had we driven three more feet, the tires would have pulled the pins and the grenades would have exploded, possibly killing all of us.” “The Guardian Angel had been with me all the time. This time the Angel had saved several of us.”
6) Night raid at Henderson:
“During one of the midnight raids I was sitting with my feet hanging down into my fox hole . . . when I saw a bomb cross in front of the large harvest moon. It took about one second for me to hit the bottom of the fox hole and about one-and-a-half seconds for the bomb to land about 30 feet away. The jar of the explosion was like being hit all over by a sledge hammer. The concussion must have bounced me at least a foot in the air. Again the “Guardian Angel” was on the job and other than being covered with dust and dirt, and being unable to hear for a couple of days, I didn’t have a scratch.”
7) Still at Henderson:
While on a mission searching to destroy enemy cannons hidden in the jungle adjacent to the base, which periodically rolled out and bombarded the field, he received a “red alert’ call from the tower, which meant that enemy bombers were on the way. He returned to the field and landed. He was standing by the plane, talking to the plane captain, and doing the paper work from the mission, when a formation of 6 Betties appeared over the hill and began a strafing run on the base. The Betties were twin-engine bombers, with machine guns in the nose and in the tail. “The plane captain ran one way, and I ran toward the ravine at the end of field. The bullets were whizzing by my head and hitting the steel matting (on the runway). It sounded like being in a hammer mill. The planes passed over . . . and the tail gunners were taking their turn at the running target as I dove down into the ravine and brush. Again the ‘Guardian Angel’ was on the job and all I received was a few scratches from the brush.”
Anyone who knew Jim recognized that he was extraordinary, and could easily believe that he was loved by God, and preserved by God to show us an example of faithful, confident living, attended by a sharp and sometimes whimsical sense of humor. Did anyone ever see Jim lose his temper or speak unkindly? It must have happened sometime. I heard of Jeanette telling about being with Pricilla and Verg when the car broke down. While Jim was trying to get things fixed, Jeanette and Pricilla (Gunzzy and Grizelda) were their normal, hilarious selves, bouncing stories off each other. Jim came from under the hood and said: “You’re not helping.” Jeanette said she cried for a week.
Jim joined Bruce, Alan and me on a one-day excursion on the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam to Little Hole. We were in two Mackenzie Drift Boats, with guides. We experienced every kind of weather, and had an unforgettable time together. A highlight was Jim’s appearance with his white purse containing his gear, quite a contrast to our vests and boxes. Here was the most unpretentious man we ever knew.
WHY ARE WE HAPPY TODAY? WHY DO WE REJOICE AND CELEBRATE JIM’S LIFE RATHER THAN DISPAIR AND WAIL IN SORROW AND GRIEF?
1.There is a God; He is our Father; we are His children; the eternal principle of the family governs in all creation: parent/child, husband/wife, brothers/sisters. That’s the way the system works. The family is not an invention of man, nor a sociological convenience or conceit to explain how society works. And trying to alter or abandon that system will never succeed, no matter how hard we try.
2.God has a Plan: a plan of life and salvation. We, His children, are in the process of living that plan. Our lives, and our relationship to God, are not governed by chance, nor happenstance, nor chaos, without rhyme or reason.
3.God’s plan is motivated by His love for us; not selfishness; vanity, nor a lust for power or control, nor aggrandizement or pride.
4.The objective of the plan is that the participants, God’s children, we, may achieve a fullness of joy.
5.The plan is based on eternal principles that govern all creation, such as:
e.Justice (cause and effect; act and consequence);
f.Mercy (the Grace of God providing an Atonement for sin [Jesus Christ paying the price of sin for us], allowing us to change our lives, correct our course, learn from our experiences, get back on track [repent].
g.Priesthood (the power by which man may act in the name of God in administering God’s ordinances among us and the functions of His Kingdom on earth).
h.Prayer (the mechanism by which we humble ourselves and communicate with God);
i.Revelation (the means by which God reveals His will to us, speaking to our hearts, as He did to Jim many times; and by which He directs his chosen servants in the administration of His work on earth). This is how we know about His plan from the beginning till now.
6.His church is the Kingdom of God on the Earth, and the mechanism through which we apply the eternal principles in real-life practice:
a.So simple, yet so complex;
b.Individual in application, yet communal as well.
Jim’s life provides an example of how God’s purposes worked out so favorably:
a.He was unique, without being flamboyant or over-the-top;
b.He was adaptable, without compromising principles;
c.He was confident, without being arrogant;
d.His ways were persuasive, without being overbearing.
God bless the memory of James Klinkel Alleman. May his example be a beacon to us, to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as we forge our own way though God’s Plan of Salvation.