James Rodney Shull

James (Jim) Rodney Shull passed away with adoring family members at his bedside late in the afternoon on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at Downey PIH Hospital. Jim was born at Whittier Memorial Hospital in 1925, one of three sons, to Joseph and Dorothy Miller Shull. The family moved to Downey in 1933, where he eventually attended Downey High School. There Jim met the love of his life, Joanna Carter. After graduating from High School, he enlisted in the Marines in March1944 and trained at Camp Pendleton and Miramar Naval Station before deploying to Okinawa in April 1945, the site of the last and most costly battle of the Pacific Campaign during WWII.

In August 1948, shortly after he returned to the states, Jim asked for the hand of, and then married, his sweetheart Joanna.

During the same period, he attended USC and Fullerton Junior College, ultimately joining forces in business with his father, Joseph Edwin Shull. Together, they started J.E. Shull and Son in 1950, a manufacturers’ rep agency. In 1970, Jim helped design and develop (in conjunction with one of the manufacturers whom they represented) the first internally illuminated street name sign, an advancement in intersection identification which exists to this day and has presumably prevented a significant number of traffic injuries and fatalities over the decades.

Jim and Joanna had four children and lived in Downey for their entire married lives. Jim served in the 2030 Club, as well as having coached at Northwest Downey Little League and served as its President in 1963. Before that, he served as Cub Master of the local Cub Scouts’ Den.

For over 50 years, Jim and Joanna have attended the sporting events of their children and grandchildren. The number of boys’ and girls’ grade school, high school, college, and club games that they have enthusiastically attended…football, baseball, soccer, basketball, softball, wrestling, and volleyball…number in the many of hundreds.

James Rodney Shull was a talented artist, writer, inventor, and a wonderful gardener and cook. He loved nature and the outdoors and both fresh and salt water fishing. Jim loved to do crossword puzzles and root for the Dodgers and Angels and USC football. His incomparable popcorn and Holiday popcorn balls were relished by family and friends for many decades.

Jim is predeceased by his parents Joseph and Dorothy Shull, as well as by brothers Joseph Shull and Thomas Shull.

Jim is survived by his children and their spouses…Cindy Shull Goff and Fred Goff, Jim Shull and Carla Shull, Craig Shull and Barbara Shull, Jeff Shull and Toni Shull, and by grandchildren Jenni Goff Adkins and husband Joey Adkins, Fred Goff IV, McKenzie Goff, Hannah Goff, Jason Bennetts and wife Melanie Bennetts, Vanessa Mowery and Tony Truelove, James Gibson and Linda Bonzer, Jimmy Shull, Jessie Shull Holder and husband Chris Holder, Jenny Shull, Dionne (DiDi Gibson) Hoeffken and husband Eric Hoeffken, as well as great  grandchildren  Riley Adkins, Lucy Adkins, Brooke Bennetts, Gavin Bennetts, Abel Joe Truelove, Zoe Hoeffken, Phoebe Hoeffken, Elogious Holder, Delaney Holder, and Avery Holder.

Jim was forever faithful to his family and to his country.

He will forever be loved and missed.

In lieu of a service, a celebration and remembrance of Jim’s life will be held in December at Jim and Joanna’s home in Downey.



Published: Nov. 20, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 32