Stratford Evans Merced Funeral Home

1490 B Street, Merced, CA


James Michael Cavalla

June 16, 1948May 12, 2020

James Michael Cavalla passed at home, on May 12th, 2020 after a short battle with cancer with his soul mate Debby Palmberg by his side. James was born in Merced California to Jim and Lyn Cavalla.

James attended John C. Fremont and Hoover Middle School. He then attended Merced High School until graduating in 1967. He then went on to attend Merced Jr. College for a short time before going to Chico State University. During High School James developed a Love for fast cars, rock music, and racing. He also took an interest in racing go-carts for a short time. Upon moving back to Merced James went to work for Merced Ford Tractor. He also worked as a Snap on Tool dealer. James worked for the Los Banos Fairgrounds as a Maintenance Supervisor for several years, then went on to work and eventually retire from the Chowchilla Madera Jr. Fairgrounds in 2011. James also volunteered for the Merced County Fairgrounds during fair time for more than 25yrs. Guess you can say it was a big part of what he enjoyed next to racing and rock music. It was during his time as an Official at the Merced Speedway that he met his soul mate and companion Debby. He and Debby both shared such a love for racing that they attended the Nascar Races in Las Vegas every year for almost 20years. They even went to Tulsa Ok. To watch the Chile Bowl Midget races. They also loved going to the Casinos together and Gambling. James also had a great love for stream fishing and cooking for big banquets, including grilling and having family BBQ’s.

James was preceded in death by his parents Jim and Lyn Cavalla. He is survived by his life companion and soul mate Debby Palmberg. James is also survived by his daughter Jamie (Tim) Griggs, granddaughter Rinna Griggs. Step-daughters Angie (Joel) Shone, Danielle Benjamin. Step grandchildren Kyler Benjamin, Kaydee and Gemma Schone. As per James wishes there will be no Services. The family would like to thank Hinds Hospice for the care and comfort they provided James and the family during his last few days. In Lieu of flowers the family asks that you make a donation to the Cancer Society or a Charity of your choice on behalf of James.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


James Michael Cavalla

have a memory or condolence to add?


Learn more about the Cavalla name