James M. Houlton
August 17, 1932 – November 13, 2020
James M. Houlton, 88, passed away peacefully, Friday, November 13, 2020 at his home in Omaha, Nebraska surrounded by his loving family.
Jim, as he was known to everyone, was born and raised in Omaha to Thomas and Sadie (Horan) Houlton. In his early years, he attended St. Cecilia’s where he proudly served as an altar boy. After graduating from Creighton Prep in 1950, he attended Creighton University before joining the Navy in 1953. He served in the South Pacific during the Korean war, as a Machinist Mate First Class, aboard the USS Ajax. Jim was close to his crew and enjoyed attending and reminiscing at reunions, over the past 65 years.
It goes without saying, Jim had a love and passion for cars! Upon his return to Omaha in 1956, he managed a Texaco Service Station. In 1961, together with his brother Tom, they opened Houlton Service on Saddle Creek Road, which operated until 1973. Following that, Jim sold professional mechanic tools until his retirement in 1997. Over the years he collected and traded many cars, but kept his pride and joy, a 1955 Ford Thunderbird.
In 1958, he met the love of his life, Carol Nickerson, in her cute convertible which he fondly called “a junker”. They were engaged and then married at St. Cecilia’s Cathedral in 1960. Jim and Carol proudly raised five children: Don, Barb, Terry, Steve, and Kris. It was constant mayhem at the Houlton household. From the time the kids were young, Jim and Carol went out of their way to make the kids’ childhood special. The Houlton household was always a center of activity with a swimming pool, trampoline, pool table and ice rink. He created a make-shift ice rink by flooding the backyard, and invited cousins and the entire neighborhood for skating and hockey!
Jim and Carol supported all of the kids through many years of gymnastics, and in all their endeavors that followed. They also proudly hosted family reunions at Christmas and July 4th that soon expanded to many friends and extended family. He also enjoyed monthly catch-up breakfasts with his Prep classmates. These were special times for Jim, and he looked forward to them throughout the year.
He was a kind-hearted soul with a quick wit, and a silly joke to make everyone smile. He always went out of his way to help others, from working on the cars for the Nuns, to lending a helping hand at the kids’ gymnastics clubs and beyond. Jim was a lifelong parishioner of St. Cecilia’s Cathedral and was an usher for over 50 years, even into his mid 80’s. He was also involved with and performed in the Elizabethan Feast Dinner, Oktoberfest, and many other church activities.
Jim is survived by devoted wife of 60 years, Carol (Nickerson) Houlton; daughters, Barb Bottieri, and Kris Houlton; sons: Don Houlton, Terry (Amy) Houlton, and Steve Houlton; grandchildren: Christina (Greg) Fountain, Cody Houlton, Garrett Houlton, Trent Houlton, and Sophie St. Amour. Jim was one of five children: Eileen (Hronek), Thomas, Jeannie (Foster), and Sadie ‘Punky’ (Traynor).
VISITATION following CDC guidelines: Wednesday, November 18th from 5pm to 7pm, at the West Center Chapel followed by PRAYER SERVICE at 7pm. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Thursday, November 19th at 11:15am, St. Cecilia Cathedral (701 N. 40th St.) INTERMENT: Calvary Cemetery with military honors. Memorials are suggested to Siena/Francis House or St. Cecilia Cathedral.
To view a live broadcast of the Vigil, Mass and Graveside Services, go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Service” button on the homepage.