James Lewis Shawcroft was born in Alamosa, Oct. 29, 1939 to Horace B Shawcroft and Mary Caryl Crowther Shawcroft. He was a lifelong resident of Conejos County. James graduated from La Jara High School in 1957.
He began his lengthy railroad career in the late 1950s by hiring out on the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad (D&RGW) as a fireman on the narrow gauge. He also worked as an engineer on the D&RGW, Cumbers and Toltec, Southern Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads. He ended his railroad career in 2003 by retiring as an engineer on the Union Pacific. James took over the family farm and worked tirelessly growing alfalfa, grains and raising cattle. He especially loved the cows and the challenge of earning their trust and love. James always took great pride in raising a quality crop. James spent many years driving the back roads between Manassa and Richfield as the ditch rider of the Richfield Ditch Company.
James was married in 1958 and from that marriage came three children Brenda McBride, Kelli (Kelly) McGinnis both of Manassa, and Brett J. aka Charlie (Tanna ) Shawcroft of La Jara.
James married Carla Rae Gilleland on June 13, 1975 in the Manti Utah Temple. Together they raised their children Kristin (Angelo) Valdez of Pueblo West, Bart (Stephanie) Shawcroft of La Jara, Nathan (Kathleen) Shawcroft and Candace (Steven) Johnson both of Manassa. James was blessed with 29 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. James’ children and grandchildren were his greatest accomplishments. James always treasured the visits he received from his family and when they got ready to leave his standard remark would be “Leaving already? You just got here”.
James is survived by his siblings Larry Shawcroft, Ruth (Dwayne) Aldridge, Joan (Mike) Stoeber, Geraldine (Ted) Curtis, Susan (Neil) Hammer all of Alamosa, Thomas (Dixie) Shawcroft of Fairbanks, Alaska, Edward (Vickie) Shawcroft of Alamosa and Ronald (Deanna) Shawcroft of Pueblo, and sister-in-law Nanalee Shawcroft of Fairbanks, Alaska. He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother Bob Alan Shawcroft, and one grandson Keil McBride.
James was known by many for his honesty, hard work ethic, generosity, and sense of humor especially while working on the farm, hunting and fishing with his sons. He has left a void that will never be filled. His memory will be cherished always by his family. Until we meet again.
A visitation will be held on Monday, Aug. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Rogers Family Mortuary in Manassa. A second visitation will be held Tuesday, Aug. 20, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. in the primary room of the Manassa First Ward building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. also at the church. Interment will follow services at the Manassa-Romeo Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family has asked for donations to be made to the ward missionary fund, or to a charity of their choice in honor of James.
Rogers Family Mortuary of Manassa is in care of arrangements. If you would like to leave online condolences or tributes for the family please visit James’s obituary at www.RogersFunerals.com.