James J. Fernandes (Jim) was born in Turlock, CA on July 16, 1935. He was the only son of Ferdinand and Adeline Fernandes, both deceased. Jim attended Tegner School and then graduated from Turlock High School in 1953. While in high school, he participated in football and track. It was during this time that Jim met his future wife, Norma Nunes, whom he married in 1954. They were married for 62 years and had four children.
Jim was an active farmer, contractor, and enjoyed dabbling in real estate. In 1972, he started Jim Fernandes Construction, Inc., where he specialized in metal building construction. During his lifetime, Jim served in the National Guard, was a board member of the Turlock Rural Fire Department, and was a member of various organizations including: the Knights of Columbus, Turlock Rotary Club, Turlock Pentecost Association, Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, and the Portuguese Fraternal Society of America. Additionally, he donated his efforts to the Turlock Historical Society and built wood duck boxes for the California Department of Fish and Game. This involvement earned him the honor of Turlock Businessman of the Year in 1984.
Jim enjoyed spending time in the mountains and at the family cabin in Pinecrest. He was an avid hunter throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, and the Northwest. Although he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease twenty-five years ago, he was determined to continue living an active life for which his wife, Norma, supported and made possible throughout the years. Jim’s sense of humor and fighting spirit continue to serve as an inspiration to his family, friends, business partners, employees, and all who had the opportunity to know him.
On June 26, 2018, Jim passed away from complications caused by the disease he so nobly fought. Jim is survived by his wife, Norma, and their four children: Cindi (Rick) Alvernaz, Karen (Ron) Macedo, Robert (Cara Allen) Fernandes, and Scott (Krissa Braden) Fernandes. He will be remembered fondly by his nine grandchildren: Colt (Ashley) and Blake Alvernaz, Michael (Alex), Sarah (Taylor), and Matthew Macedo, Emely Allen Fernandes, and Erika, Luke, and Elise Fernandes; along with one great-grandchild, Zane James Alvernaz. Jim will be forever remembered by his sister, Dorie Pereira.
A visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 1, at Turlock Funeral Home, 425 N. Soderquist Rd., Turlock. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 2, at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, 2602 S. Walnut Rd., Turlock. The burial will follow at Turlock Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, for those who desire, memorial donations may be made in Jim’s name to the Jim Fernandes Memorial Scholarship (P.O. Box 3520, Turlock, CA 95381), the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center (675 Almanor Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085-2934), or to a charity of your choice.