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Aug. 15, 1958 March 1, 2017

James Bylsma, 58, passed away suddenly at the age of 58 on Wednesday, March 1st. He was born on August 15, 1958 in Escalon, California to his parents Joe and Alice Bylsma. He was the 8th child of 10 children and grew up on the family dairy which he took over in 1979 from his parents. He attended Ripon Christian School. James met his wife, Lori Bryant in October of 1979 and they married August of 1980. In October of 1981, their first child Aaron was born, and then seven years later, their daughter Lauren was born in 1988. Then in 1995 and 1997, they were blessed with two daughters from Korea, Caitlyn and Kamryn. James was a member of the Escalon Christian Reformed Church all his life. He was active on several committees, including the building and grounds and the new parking lot committee. His passion was with the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA). He put his heart into serving on the Resolutions Board for many years. He was a strong supporter of Ripon Christian School and served on the board and volunteered wherever he could. One of James’ greatest joys was making people laugh. He had the biggest heart for ALL his family, friends and even strangers. James will be remembered as a loving and devoted husband, father and friend. We all will deeply miss him. James leaves behind his loving wife of 36 years, Lori Bylsma, his children Aaron Bylsma (Mary) of Escalon, Lauren Heard of Modesto, Caitlyn Bylsma of Escalon, Kamryn Bylsma of Escalon, and his grandchildren Ethan, Alex, Hailey and Lana. He will also be missed by his siblings William (Jolene), John (Ginny), Neda (Wally), Merri (Peter), Ted (Janet), Judi (Dan), JoAnne (Ken), Sam (Sherri) and Sharon (Jeff). He is preceded in death by his brother, Ted, who passed away in 1998.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Deegan Funeral Chapel. A Visitation will be held on Friday, March 10, 2017 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Deegan Funeral Chapel, 1441 San Joaquin Street in Escalon. A Memorial Service will be held on Monday, March 13, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Escalon Christian Reformed Church, 2203 California Street in Escalon. Donations may be made to Escalon Christian Reformed Church Building Grounds or to Optimal Hospice Foundation, 1101 Sylvan Avenue, Modesto, CA 95350. For condolences to the family, please visit his online guestbook at
The Escalon (Calif.) Times
March 8, 2017