James Nelson Tench

Passed: November 13, 2022

James Nelson Tench

Passed: November 13, 2022


James Nelson Tench, 85 of Goodyear, Arizona passed away peacefully at his home on November 13, 2022. He was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1937 to Louis and Ruth Tench.

Growing up in Yuma, Arizona, he was a resident of the state for most of his life. As a youth he was a member of the Order of DeMolay, leading his Chapter as Master Councilor in 1955. He later followed his father into Freemasonry and became a member of the Yuma Lodge in Yuma, AZ, followed by the Wayfarer’s Lodge in Phoenix. He served in various appointed offices over the years and participated in numerous Lodge activities and charities. He served as Chapter Dad for the Sunnyslope Chapter, Order of DeMolay from 1978 to 1984. It was this service that brought him the most joy of his Masonic career. He spent countless hours guiding Sunnyslope Chapter and undoubtably left a huge impact on the lives of its young members.

Following several years of military service in the US Army, Jim built his career in the utility industry. This work started first with the Arizona Water Company, then took him to the Arizona Public Service Company and the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. In his numerous senior leadership positions, Jim was recognized as a natural leader with the ability to manage large organizations, but also with a keen sense of the human aspect that so many of his co-workers express appreciation for to this day. After retiring from the industry, Jim and his late wife Estelle owned and operated the Pine Meadows Country Club in Overgaard, Arizona. Here his duties were many and varied. His favorite though was running the pro shop and interacting with the customers, most of whom were pleased to also call him their friend. After selling the country club, Jim lived in Wickenburg, Arizona where he enjoyed volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity. When he wasn’t working or having lunch with friends, Jim was a serious sports fan supporting his local Arizona teams, especially the Arizona Diamondbacks.

One great joy in Jim’s life was the time he was able to spend with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He spent many days in the dirt watching junior rodeos and off-road motorcycle races, and in the stands attending Wickenburg football cheering on the football team and cheerleaders.

Jim is survived by his daughter Wendy (Gregory) Brown, son Jeffrey (Tami) Tench, two grandchildren: Mackenzie (Mark) McLaughlin and Logan (Kelli) Brown, and four great-grandchildren: Tyson McLaughlin, Vonn Brown, Knox Brown, and Taylor McLaughlin. Jim is also survived by his sisters Barbara Evans and Ruth Tasa. He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Estelle, brother Robert Tench, and parents Louis and Ruth Tench.

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Thompson Funeral Chapel