James Marlin Epp was born on October 10, 1973 in Salinas, CA. When James was born it was obvious to doctors that something was wrong and shortly after we were told he had Downs Syndrome. The doctors said he’d never be able to do much and should be institutionalized. Books said he would be a very placid child. Boy, were they ever wrong. James resided in Salinas for 43 years and was a faithful soldier of The Salinas Salvation Army. He was the life of the party and everyone knew him wherever he went. As a baby he kept us entertained with his antics and loved to make us laugh. At school he was the mischievous prankster that kept his teachers on their toes. He insisted on learning to read at a time when reading wasn’t encouraged beyond a certain level. He began his schooling at Gateway Center at age 4 and continued his education at Bard Blades School, Gavilan View Middle School, North Salinas High School, and completed his education requirements at St. Georges where he graduated in 1995. As a young man he tried working at Taco Bell and Wendy’s but decided fast food was not for him. He wanted an office job like Aunt Debby. His teachers had never thought of something like that but he was insistent so they found him a job at the Monterey County Elections Department. Later he worked for the Monterey County Office of Education for 20 years. His teachers realized office work was very suited to those with Downs Syndrome. He paved the way for others. He never let limitations or the word no stop him. If he wanted to do something he would find a way to make it happen. His greatest desire was to be a Corps Officer in The Salvation Army. When he was told that was not possible he did not let that stop him. He started his own Salvation Army church in the backyard shed. One of James’ greatest joys was being a Corp Officer with the rank of Major to his ever growing “congregation”. But where James really shined was his love for his family, friends, and most of all his love for Jesus. He was a faithful follower and soldier of Christ and was a blessing and inspiration to many. James finished his earthly journey in Sheridan, WY where he had lived for 2 yrs before he met his Savior face to face in heaven on May 17, 2019.
He is survived by his father Daniel Epp of Salinas CA, mother Debra Molinari of Orting, WA, Aunt Debra Epp, Grandmother Lois Epp, Aunt Donna Stallings, Siblings; Paul (Cedra) and Daniel Epp. Cousins Lisa (Jason) Gill, Eric & Amy Stallings, Meagan-Ellie-Zachary-Sienna- & Jeremy Gill, Amber Kimble, and Jackson Duncan. He is preceded in death by his Grandfather Sgt. James Epp, Great-Grandmother Gertrude Mills, Grandmother Norma Kimble and a nephew Sean Epp.
A celebration of James’ life will be held at The Sheridan Salvation Army on Friday May 24th, 2019 at 6pm. The Salvation Army is located at 150 S. Tschirgi St. A Reception will follow.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.