James ‘Jim’ Golden, 96, died Tuesday, Feb. 15 in Turlock.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he graduated with a degree in aeronautical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute of Technology.
Mr. Golden’s professional career began during World War II when he worked for the Chance Vought Corporation as part of a team who designed the Vought V-173 “Flying Pancake,” a predecessor to the helicopter.
From aeronautics he moved into metallurgy, where he was hired by Titan Metal, a company based in Bellefonte, PA that manufactured brass. In 1957, he moved his family to the California Bay Area where he built and managed a new Titan plant, established for the melting, casting and extrusion of brass.
Aeronautics and metal work, however, were merely leaping-off points to the culmination of his manufacturing career — as a candy maker. In 1964, he was hired by the Hershey Chocolate Corporation to build and manage their Oakdale plant.
While in Oakdale, he served as an active member of the California Almond Growers Exchange. During his tenure with Hershey he held multiple senior management roles, both in Oakdale and finally in Hershey, PA.
Upon retirement, he and his wife Marion returned to Oakdale where he enjoyed working the land, raising fruits and vegetables on his “gentleman’s” farm.
He is remembered by friends and family as a man of great integrity with a dry sense of humor and dignified manner who never abandoned his love of a good book or a good piece of chocolate.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Marion of Turlock; children Jim, Susan, and Bill; three grandsons; and one great-grandson.
Turlock Memorial Park in charge of arrangements.