James Joseph "JJ" Bechtold

August 4, 1940March 19, 2021

JJ joined the love of his life March 19, 2021, at the age of 80. He was born in his family home on August 4, 1940 in Saint Louis Park, MN. The Air Force brought JJ to California but he spent most of his military career in the Navy and retired after 20 years. JJ put down roots in Laton as a walnut farmer as well as a truck driver. JJ is survived by his siblings Marian (John) Stone and Robert Bechtold, his children Christina, Michelle (Bryan) Durant, and Joseph Bechtold, his step-children Amanda and Daniel Willhite. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even a great great-grandchild. Graveside services are to be private, family and close friends only. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hanford Church of Christ.


  • Hanford Church of Christ


  • Private Services


James Joseph "JJ" Bechtold

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Charlotte Coleman

March 31, 2021

I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to JJ's family for their loss. JJ was a wonderful friend and I will miss him dearly, but I know he is in a better place.

I thank God for bringing JJ into my life. I will sure miss our conversations and Pete's excitement when I visited. It sure made us laugh. Till we meet again JJ.


Allen Thiede

March 30, 2021

My condolences to JJ's family for your loss. While I never had the pleasure of meeting JJ we did serve at the same time aboard the Enterprise. Fair Winds and Following Seas shipmate.

Peter Cerio

March 30, 2021

I am deeply saddened at the passing of Jim. Jim and I served together with VA 146 aboard the USS Enterprise and were together during the fire. There are people and places you always try to forget... but Jim, for some reason was someone I always remembered, probably because nothing seemed to rattle him! He was easy going and was looked up to by all. Jim will be in my prayers. God bless you all.

Pete Cerio

Mike Neville

March 29, 2021

I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to JJ's family for your loss. I served with JJ in the VA-146 Ordnance Shop from 1968 to 1970. I was fresh from boot camp when I came aboard the squadron whereas JJ was by then quite a salt. I learned a lot from him and considered him a good friend, then and now.

As I served only one hitch we never crossed paths again in the Navy but did get together a couple of times years later in the some Navy veteran organizations.

Fair winds and following seas, Shipmate.

Amanda Willhite

March 29, 2021

JJ and Mom working in my yard! ❤️❤️

Amanda Willhite

March 29, 2021

This man has been in my life since my early teens. He was my father, he was there when my kids were born, he was there for everything and I have so many great memories living next door to my mom and him. They are once again together and may they both Rest In Peace!