James Burnett Okeson, 1942 James Burnett Okeson
1914 - 1983


FACTS AT A GLANCE
BORN: 12 May 1914 - Turtle Lake, ND
MARRIED1: Martha, 1943
         Broward Co. Florida
MARRIED2: Lois Margaret Cluster,
         31 Dec 1953, Eugene, Oregon
DIED: 16 Nov 1983, Eugene, Oregon



James Burnett Okeson was a bus driver and World War II veteran.

James was born in Turtle Lake, North Dakota in 1914, where he spent most of his childhood. To his friends he was called James, but almost everyone in the family called him Burnett. In 1936, he moved (with his parents and sister) to Eugene, Oregon, a place he would call home for most of the rest of his life.

James studied accounting while in college, but became a bus driver for the city of Eugene instead. He joined the United States Navy during World War II, spending much of the war on board aircraft carriers, arming air-launched torpedoes.

It was while he was stationed at Fort Lauderdale, Florida that James met Martha and they were soon married. From the very beginning it seemed like a one-way romance, with Martha putting forth most of the effort.

James is specifically mentioned in 4 different muster rolls for the escort carrier USS. Chenango (CVE-28) which place him on-board from at least December, 31st, 1944 until July 29th, 1945. During this time the Chenango provided air support for the invasion of Okinawa and was then assigned to neutralize kamakaze bases at Sakashima Gunto.

After the war, James returned to his job driving buses for the city of Eugene. He divorced Martha in 1952, childless.

A year after his divorce, James married Lois Cluster (maiden name Skaar), a widow with four children: Robert, Arlen, Ann and George. James and Lois would have 2 additional children from their marriage: Janice and Kennard.

In the 1950s it became unprofitable for the city of Eugene to maintain its bus service, so James bought into a lumber plywood mill where he worked until retiring at age 62.

In retirement, James began drinking and smoking to excess, even after developing Emphysema and Cirrhosis of the liver. He eventually developed Prostate Cancer and died in 1983. His death certificate lists "cigarette smoking" as the cause of death.

View the Okeson Family Photoalbum, 1900-1962

WIVES of James Burnett Okeson:
   1. Martha
   2. Lois Margaret CLUSTER

        1919-2009

PARENTS of James Burnett Okeson:
    August OKESON

     1877-1951
    Hannah Theodora ECKLUND
     1888-1962

CHILDREN of James Burnett Okeson and Martha:
   None

CHILDREN of James Burnett Okeson and Lois CLUSTER:
   1. Janice
   2. Kennard




OKESON FAMILY HOMEPAGE


References:
  The Family History As I Heard It, by Nora Fayme Okeson
  1925 North Dakota State Census
  1930 U.S. Federal Census for Lake Williams ND
  Eugene Oregon City Directory, 1938
  Eugene Oregon City Directory, 1939
  1940 U.S. Federal Census for Eugene OR
  Eugene Oregon City Directory, 1940
  Eugene Oregon City Directory, 1942
  U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949
  Oregon Marriage Indexes, 1946-2008
  Eugene Oregon City Directory, 1960
  Social Security Death Index
  Oregon Death Index, 1898-2008
  U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File
  www.findagrave.com