James Dwight Tiner, our dear father, grandfather and great grandfather passed away on January 28, 2024. He was born on March 23, 1936, to Thomas and Jewel Tiner in Knoble, Arkansas. He lived there until he was 8 years old. With his older brother and parents, they made the trek west to California settling in the Susanville, California area to work in the booming lumber industry. He graduated from Susanville High School and later went on to attend Lassen Community College and Chico State University. While attending Lassen Community College, he met and fell in love with Marilee Kay Furniss. They married on August 18, 1956. Seven years later, they were sealed for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His family, starting with his wife, was always his top priority.
To his friends, he was called Jim. To family, he was called Dwight. He answered to both. We will use both in this obituary.
Jim loved sports. In high school, he was a multi-sport player. He excelled in basketball, track and field, and baseball. At Chico State, he played basketball in the winter and then ran the 110 high hurdles and did high jump for the track and field team in the spring. Once he married and started a family, he gave up those pursuits to provide for his family. Over the course of his life, he played lots of city league basketball and city league softball. He played softball into his 60’s.
Dwight’s career began as a carpenter. He became a master carpenter in a very short time. But knowing the inconsistency of work hours in this career, he made a switch to a more stable job joining Pacific, Gas and Electric (PG&E) as an intern engineer. He worked 31 years with PG&E, mostly in the role of a hydro-generator mechanic and engineer. For many years he traveled 70 miles up the windy Feather River Canyon road to report to work followed by trips up and down the canyon to dams on the Feather River where they did scheduled maintenance on hydro-generators. Dwight could have moved his family to homes provided by the company that were much closer to his work, but he chose not to isolate his family like that and just made this arduous trip every working day. Family was always first.
Jim had an amazing mind for seeing a problem, dissecting it and then designing and building a solution for the problem. He always had a pencil and a clipboard, usually of yellow lined paper, where he would draw out the problem and then masterfully design a tool or a solution to the problem on the paper. But that is not where it stopped. He would then look around at the things that he had in his home or at a store and build the tool he designed on paper. His solutions were always so brilliant. At PG&E, if a specialty tool was needed for a particular problem, ‘Tiner’ always got the call to design and build the tool. From mind to design to build, he could amazingly do it all.
After retirement Jim and Kay loved to go on cruises with many of their closest friends. They went on a total of 13 cruises which allowed them to see the world. Jim loved his trips with friends and Kay. Upon returning home after each trip, he would give incredible and detailed descriptions of things that they had seen.
When Dwight asked Kay’s father for her hand in marriage, Kay’s father told him that he would need to make sure that his daughter could ‘go to church’. Not being a member of her faith at the time, he committed to his future father-in-law that he would. And when Dwight committed to something, his responsible nature always carried that commitment to action. He made sure Kay attended church, even attending with her now and again. Eventually, after wearing out many missionaries and home teachers, he chose to join the Church too. Throughout the years, he served in Scouting, taught various classes, and became one of the best Ward Clerks around. Every calling extended to him was met with the words, “I can’t do that.”. And then he’d accept and go on and do the most amazing job in the calling.
In his later years, Jim became a master gardener. He loved planting flowers at his condo. He had the most beautiful flowers in his condo complex. Each fall or spring he’d plant the bulbs that he had dug up the prior year and store them in tubs in his garage. His children were always amazed that the bulbs would actually grow the following year. But he knew how to preserve them such that they would re-bloom year after year. It was an amazing skill that he developed and nurtured after retiring.
Jim was known for his huge hands. Swollen knuckles from basketball injuries and calloused from hard work, but always ready to give a loving pat on the back when someone did something well. Or maybe point a big ole index finger when someone stepped out of line. He was always willing to use those hands to serve others and now he is holding his Kay’s hand again who was on the other side waiting for him.
James Dwight was preceded in death by his dear wife, Marilee Kay. He is survived by his four children, Tim (Denise), Fred (Khrista), Shelley, and Scott (Kayci); and his brother, Keith (Barbara). Together, Jim and Kay have 18 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren. He leaves in mortality a family full of wonderful human beings doing their best to emulate the great qualities that he shared throughout his 87 years on earth. He will be missed greatly.
Graveside services will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2024, at 2 p.m. at Lindquist’s Washington Heights Memorial Park, 4500 Washington Blvd. Friends may visit with family on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd.