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James Sterling

April 20, 1945 — February 5, 2022

James Durrance Sterling, Sr. passed away peacefully in his home after struggling with a protracted
heart condition on February 5th in Boulder, Colorado. He was 76.

A man who did things his own way, Jim was both a scrappy entrepreneur and a prankster who kept
his family on their toes with his "hot takes" and choreographed surprises. An example being the
Christmas morning where he built up the "Big Gift" under the tree for wife, Patty. Opening it last to
great fanfare, she held her breath... only to find a simple bread box from Montgomery Wards. Letting
the awkwardness soak in a moment longer than needed (his specialty,) he finally let her off the hook,
telling her to look inside the box... where he had stashed plane tickets for them to Puerto Vallarta.
Jim was born James Charles Durrance, Jr. on April 20, 1945 in Springfield, Vermont to James and
Katherine Durrance. After James, Sr's untimely passing in the late 40s, Katherine married Stanwood
Sterling and the family including younger siblings Matt and Margaret, settled into a Denver suburb.
Jim attended George Washington High School in Denver, graduating in 1963.

After graduation, Jim attended college at Western State and later, C.U. (missed a degree "by that
much", he'd say.) In '66, he headed west to Los Angeles, joining lifetime friend, Chris Pearson in the
San Fernando Valley which is where he met his future wife, Patricia. They married at the Little
Brown Church In The Valley in 1967 on a hot August Sunday, a day Jim would later recall to his
children as "getting hitched in a blast furnace."
In 1969, following some back and forth between Colorado and San Jose, California, Jim, Patricia and
step-son Thomas Anderson, settled down on 30th Street in Boulder, Colorado, where son James, Jr.
was born. The family moved to Juilliard Street in South Boulder in 1973, the year daughter Courtney
was born.

Soon after, Jim took his experience in home interior decorating and opened his own store, BOULDER
INTERIORS on Valmont Street, in Boulder. For the next decade, the "Frontier Decorator" would outfit
Boulderites with carpet, tile, linoleum, window treatments and, depending on stock, free carpet
samples to use as patio doormats. ("In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" was a favorite phrase of
Jim's.) Later, he transitioned to STERLING'S CARPET & TILE on Pine Street which had an iconic
set of dollhouses in the storefront windows.

James and wife Patty loved to camp, loved to ski and after seeing the children through elementary,
Southern Hills Junior High and Fairview High School, scrimped and saved to help put each of them
through college.

His children remember him as a generous, loving man who taught them to not take no for an answer.
He loved the "Big Moments" of life and had an encyclopedic recall of local history and geography.
("Don't get him started on train history," his daughter Courtney was known to say.) He is joined in
passing with his beloved wife, Patty, and younger brother, Matt. He is survived by his sister, Margie
of Danbury, Connecticut and his children: Thomas S. Anderson of Newport Beach, California, James
Sterling, Jr of Studio City, California and Courtney Brown of Round Hill, Virginia. He was known as
"Grandpa Jim" to his eight grandchildren: Paige Katherine, Molly Mayfield, Laird Andrew, Madison
Patricia, Pierce James, Audrey Scott, James III and Lydia Jane.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Sterling, please visit our flower store.

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