After a life full of adventure, James Ray Bobo, “Jim”, began his eternal adventure when he left this world at Valley Baptist Medical Center on Sunday, September 1, at the age of 91, following a heart attack complicated by pneumonia. He is survived by his wife of seven years, Velma Wineinger Lervold Bobo of Harlingen.
Jim was born in Hico, Texas on March 6, 1928 to Jesse Ray Bobo and Evalina Pruitt Bobo. He was preceded in death by his older sister Mildred Louise and her husband Wilburn Leon Ladyman and his younger brother Leroy Bobo. Leroy’s wife Winifred Eleanor McClammy Bobo lives in Lockhart, TX.
Jim had a large family including six children and four step-children. He is preceded in death by one child, Larry Wayne Bobo and his second wife, Helen “Suzy” Colwell Scott.
The small town of Hico, TX could not hold Jim’s large spirit. After graduating from Hico High School in 1945, Jim left Hico and lived in over 25 cities and had several occupations, including: a brief stint as a farmer in Lubbock, TX; a radio operator for the Navy in Dutch Harbor, Alaska; an aircraft controller in Guadalupe Pass near El Paso and in San Antonio; a computer programmer for IBM in New York; a computer programmer for Burroughs in Pasadena, California and then for Burroughs in several Texas Cities.
Jim created a “startup” before that term was even known. He used the family’s life savings of $800.00, along with money borrowed from family and friends to start Central Processing Company, “CPC”, in San Antonio. The company provided computer processing services for dozens of banks and hundreds of bank branches all over Central and South Texas. He sold the company in 1982 to FiServ and retired in 1985.
He was an accomplished ham radio operator with the call sign W5ODD, having made confirmed contacts in every country in the world on several bands After retirement, every home he owned had a tall radio tower. Jim was also an avid aviator and owned several powered aircraft and gliders. He and Suzy built an A-Frame cabin in Colorado largely by themselves, which continues to generate many cherished memories for the family.
He traveled widely, visiting all 50 states and every continent, visiting his last continent, Antarctica on his honeymoon with Velma in December, 2012. They were both 85 at the time. He travelled by RV all over the country – and in South Africa twice – and was blessed to have many RV friends everywhere he travelled.
The family wishes to thank the doctors and nurses in the Cardiac Care Unit at Valley Baptist Medical Center for their professionalism and care for Jim and the family.
A memorial service was held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, September 6, at the Treasure Hills Presbyterian Church, 2120 N. Ed Carey Dr., Harlingen, Texas 78550.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to Medina Children’s Home (https://community.armsofhope.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=298) or to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Katy, Texas (https://www.mdanderson.org/donors-volunteers/donate.html).\