James Valdeck, born Irving “Oakley” Belsha in Los Angeles California died Friday evening, November 28.
Oakley moved to Denver in 1947 and changed his name to James Valdeck. Jim married Mary Ruth Whitby on August 6, 1949. He worked for Bell Plumbing and Heating as an electrician, wiring houses in the Denver area. About 1953 he opened his own business, Windsor Shutter Company, in Littleton, Colorado. Windsor Shutter manufactured deluxe wood shutters. His shutters hung in the Brown Palace for more than 40 years. In the 1960s Jim worked for Sterling Stainless Tube building the machines to manufacture hypodermic needle tubing. He became Vice-President of the company. In 1969 Jim and family moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He was on a mission to start his own company, Hampden Industries, to manufacture machinery for the production of hypodermic needles. He literally built the company by hand, constructing the building, designing machines, and obtaining his first sale to Gillette Industries in Reading, England. James Valdeck spent the next 30 years manufacturing and selling equipment around the world. He personally oversaw the successful installation of turnkey manufacturing facilities in England, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, Brazil, Korea, Taiwan, Canada, India and Rumania. In 1972 Hampden Industries won the Governor’s Export Award. Jim’s sales calls took him to all corners of the world and he was known around the world as Mr. Jim.
Jim was a devoted husband and father to his wife Ruth and three children. He loved the outdoors and was an avid skier, hiker and white-water rafter. He also loved boating, photography, camping and winter adventures in his snow cat.
He is survived by Wife Mary “Ruth” Valdeck; Son Steven L. Valdeck (wife Cynthia) of Littleton, Colorado; Daughter Dorinda Wheeler (husband Douglas) of Elizabeth, Colorado; grandchildren, Justin Wheeler, Coulton Wheeler, Krystina Wheeler, Shaylyn Wheeler; brother James Belsha; sisters Oneta Lewis, Edythe Mae Flemming, Patricia Owen and Pamela Bruner. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Gwendolyn Valdeck.
Visitation will be held at Bullock Colonial Chapel, on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. and we’ll say a few words at 3:00 p.m.
We will gather at his home at 4:30 for refreshments. 9457 W. Gibraltar Pl, Littleton, CO.
1375 E. Hampden Ave.