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Obituary: James Joseph Dorst (Jim)

U.S. Marine veteran, great grandfather, accomplished glazier, traveler

Longtime Claremont resident James Joseph Dorst (Jim) died December 22, 2020 at the age of 88. The cause was not COVID-19. 

Jim was born March 15, 1932 in Neillsville, Wisconsin, to Raymond John Dorst and Elva (Garbush) Dorst. The Depression was just getting started. His family lived on a dairy farm that his dad was sharecropping with the owners. 

He was six years old and in the second grade when his dad bought his first farm. When he was nine years old he could drive a tractor and a team of horses. His mom, dad and sister Patricia would work 12 to 14 hour days to make the farm successful. In 1948, his parents sold the farm and moved to Colby, Wisconsin. He then worked as a cheese maker for two years and then in a gravel pit for a year.

He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in October 1952 and served for three years. He went to Korea and was assigned to work explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and ammunition maintenance for 12 months. He returned to the states on August 18, 1954. 

He then received orders to report to Quantico, Virginia, where he was stationed at Camp Barrett at the ammunition dump. He issued ammunition to the FBI, CIA and officers in basic training. When he came home from the Marine Corps, he worked as an auto mechanic for his father and a tree trimmer for ACME Tree Service.

In 1956, he met Beverly Brodhagen, and they were married on September 7, 1957. They moved to Claremont in 1960, where he started his career in construction. He worked as a glazing estimator for Olson Glass and Granite Glass before starting his own glazing company (D and D Company) in 1984 with his partner Gary Dryden. 

In 2000, he started his own glazing company called Padua Glass. He was well respected throughout the glazing industry, serving as chairman of the board for the California Glass Association in 2002. He also served on the association’s board of directors, and was president of the Southern California Glass Management Association from 1985 to 1986. He received a certificate of appreciation from the Local 636 and the California Apprenticeship Council. Mr. Dorst was also part of the Industry Expert Program for the California State License Board.

He and Beverly enjoyed spending many vacations in the Southwest, making sure they traveled to the Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico every August.

He is survived by his wife Beverly Dorst; daughters Debra Dorst Porada and Vanessa Huber; son James Dorst; grandsons Alexander Porada (Kristine), Michael Huber (Jourdan) and Jacob Huber (Analyssa); great-grandson Jackson Huber; and great-granddaughter Asha Porada. 

His sister Patricia (Dorst) Mayeda and brother Raymond John Dorst preceded him in death.

Services will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, January 23 at Oak Park Cemetery in Claremont.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Memory of James J. Dorst to Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) at https://market.swaia.org/donate/, or by check to P.O. Box 969, Santa Fe, NM 87504.

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