James Brian Doordan
James Brian Doordan died on Sunday, January 21st, at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California.
By the time he was 10 years old, he had discovered the night sky. It would be a source of wonder and reward throughout his life beginning with his first childhood identification of a constellation (Orion). He was especially fond of camping and enjoyed traveling with his friends. In his early 30’s, Jim was both paralyzed and blinded by multiple sclerosis. However, his fascination with the stars continued. He was a member of the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit and was a faithful student in star-gazing classes at Santa Barbara Community College where he was well known. From his wheelchair in the back of the Natural History Museum’s Planetarium, he would listen and remember. Jim also was a regular at the Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital, the local Multiple Sclerosis Society Open Gym as well as meetings of The Triumph Foundation and the local MS Support Group. Jim belonged to the parish of San Roque Catholic Church in Santa Barbara. His enduring good nature and the grace and fortitude he displayed left a lasting impression on everyone he met.
Jim was born September 5, 1954, in Delaware to John Edward and Nancy Hammond Doordan. He attended grade school in South Bend, Indiana, and Daytona Beach, Florida. Jim graduated in 1972 from De La Salle High School in Concord, California and went on to the University of California at Berkeley on a National Merit Scholarship. His illness ended a promising professional career in credit management and Human Resources.
He leaves a grieving family including his older brothers John M. Doordan (of Santa Barbara) and Dennis P. Doordan (of South Bend, Indiana) and his sister Kate Doordan Klavan, who took loving care of Jim for a decade. He also leaves sisters-in-law Tracie Doordan and Marcia Rickard, nephew Ryan Doordan, niece Kelly Doordan (Luke Jones), great-nephews Xayden and Kiran Jones. He also leaves many friends, among them Miguel Toscano who gave Jim years of caring friendship and Dr. Perie Longo. A memorial service is pending.