James (Jim) Nathan Criss, age 64, of Graham, North Carolina, passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, February 9, 2020.
Jim was born on August 6, 1955, in Los Angeles, California, to George James Criss and Jeanne Eccie Jones who both preceded him in death. His family moved to northern California where Jim graduated in 1973 from Sir Francis Drake High School in San Anselmo. After graduation, Jim began work in construction for John Young Builders in Marin County. Between 1976 and 1979, he lived part time in Sitka, Alaska building homes.
Jim married his wife, Anne, in 1987, moving to North Carolina in 1988. He worked in construction for several years, and later became the supervisor and coordinator with Home Perfect in Durham, NC. The owner of Home Perfect and Jim formed a long lasting professional and personal relationship. During his approximately 25 years with the company, he worked at all levels of remodeling, establishing close working relationships with his clients-always concerned with ensuring their happiness and satisfaction. Jim’s clients were always impressed with his knowledge, strength, and the quality of his work.
Jim was handsome and gifted with a quick wit and sense of fun that put everyone at ease. He was always upbeat, had something funny to say and was a pleasure to be around. He put people first-willing and happy to help others. The mother of a childhood friend noted recently that as a young boy Jim was charming and “was the cutest and smartest” of his circle of friends.
Jim adapted extremely well to Anne’s family’s home in Patrick County, Virginia, becoming popular and well known in the community. The family joked that Jim knew more people in Patrick County than they did even though the family had a long history in the area.
Jim enjoyed spending his free time at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia with Anne and their dogs, Jeb and Callie. He also enjoyed fishing, pheasant hunting, spending time with his family, and camping at music festivals with friends. A talented cook, Jim often delighted friends and family by creating complex and delicious meals without the use of recipes. Jim was a Ford man and had a real passion for Ford Rancheros, owning many different models over the years. Jim enjoyed sports and played softball for many years. He was a lifelong fan of the San Francisco Giants and the 49ers. After moving to North Carolina, he became a big fan of the UNC Tarheels basketball team. A loving and devoted husband, brother, and uncle, Jim was well respected and loved dearly by his family and many friends from coast to coast.
In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Baccei, and his nephew, Spencer Boyle.
Jim is survived by his wife of 32 years, Anne Baughan Criss of Graham, NC; his brother, Peter Criss; sisters, Patti Saulenas; and Vicki Jones all of Siletz, OR; and his sister, Katie Vaughan of Brownsville, CA; brother-in-law, Clark Baughan and wife Laura Rosenfeld of Santa Fe, NM; sisters-in-law, Sarah Bowman of Ridgeway, VA, and Mary Martin and husband Toby of Spencer, VA. Jim is also survived by nieces and nephews, Tiffani Rooney of Grass Valley, CA; Chanin Murphy of Oakland, CA; Dean Baccei of Grass Valley, CA; Allen Bowman of Greenville, NC; Lisa Bowman of Ridgeway, VA; Meredith Martin of Mt. Airy, NC; and Katherine Martin of Spencer, VA.
A celebration of Jim’s life will be held in late March in Patrick County, VA. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Cancer Research Institute, Web Donation, 29 Broadway Floor 4, New York, NY 10006-3111 or The Lung Cancer Foundation of America, 15 S. Franklin St., New Ulm, MN 56073. Condolences may be offered at www.richandthompson.com.