James Gordon Folks

Date of Birth

March 12, 1944

Date of Death

March 29, 2021

James Gordon Folks was born on March 12, 1944 in Starke, Florida and died on March 29, 2021 of several health issues. His parents were Gordon Folks and Hazel Anderson Folks. Within a year of his birth, Jim and his mother traveled to her home in Long Beach, Ca, where they waited for his father to return from fighting in Europe. In 1951, his father built a home in Palos Verdes where Jim grew up. He was a member of the first graduating class of Palos Verdes High School. He continued his education at UCSB where he met his wife, Gretchen Clark, in a social dancing class. After graduation, Jim went to Hastings Law School in San Francisco. He passed the Bar and got married in 1969.

Jim and Gretchen moved to Santa Barbara in 1970. They had 2 children, Victoria and Kyle. He practiced law until 1995 and then maintained a wine store until he retired in 2006.

Jim had many interests which he pursed with a passion. First and foremost was his family. He loved golf and was part of a wonderful group of friends at Sandpiper during the 90s until Rancho San Marcos opened. He played golf there until he had to give up the game. He had a prolific vegetable garden. In 2008, Kyle suggested that his father make wine in the basement. That became the all consuming passion. Some of the wines were totally fantastic.

Jim and Gretchen enjoyed travel. His favorite destination was Scotland where they played famous and not so famous golf courses. His second favorite destination was the south of France.

Jim’s wit and intellect will be missed. In addition to his wife and two children, he is survived by son-in-law Brian Wyatt, grand daughter Iris Wyatt and step grand children, Cassidy and Chaia Cherques-Wyatt. Any donations in Jim’s name should be made to Foothillsforever.org or the Sierra Club. A celebration of life may be held in the summer.


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