Welcome to the memorial page for

James Donald Fennell

December 31, 1945 ~ May 25, 2017 (age 71)

Obituary Image

James Donald Fennell, 71, went to the arms of Jesus May 25, 2017 in Coos Bay. Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 22, at Allegany Community Church with Pastor Russell Smith officiating.

Jim was born Dec. 31, 1945 to James Odas and Slossie B. Fennell in Los Angeles, Calif. When he was 5 years old the family moved to Sun Valley, Calif., where Jim lived until he joined the military in 1967. He graduated Polytechnic High School and signed a contract to pitch baseball for the Los Angeles Dodgers. While at the farm team he was drafted into the U.S. Marine Corps. He proudly served his country with two tours in Vietnam, receiving the Vietnam Service Medal with Silver Star Denoting five named campaigns and the Presidential Unit Citation, among other metals for his service.

After returning home Jim married Deborah Paonessa in 1970 in North Hollywood, Calif. They remain married 47 years later. Jim continued his education, attending junior college for two years. Jim and Debbie had two children, Christopher Fennell and Amy Ford. Two others who were as close as any children could be and shared their home were Stan Harlan and Ann Osborne. The family moved to Allegany in 1977 and have remained in this beautiful town ever since. Jim was very involved in his church, Allegany Community Church, being a youth and worship leader for many years. "Jimbo," as many called him, loved to sing. He was a “karaoke hog” hating to share the microphone! He sang like an angel, and imitated Elvis Presley perfectly. He once won a karaoke contest beating out 100 people on a cruise ship, and winning the Bay Area Festival contest another time. Jim was a funny man with a fast wit and generous spirit. He considered himself a “professional” truck driver, working for Stalcup Trucking for 30 years, and two years at Thomas and Sons before retiring.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents, James Odas and Slossie Fennell; a brother, Gary Fennell; his father-in-law, Dominic Paonessa; and brother-in-law, Michael Paonessa.

Jim is survived by his wife, Debbie; children, Chris Fennell and wife, Tisha, Amy Ford, Stan Harlan and wife, Tami and Ann Osborne and husband, Tom; his dearly beloved brother, Steven Fennell and wife, Kyle; sister, Tressia McDonald; sister-in-law, Phyllis Fennell; mother-in-law, Amelia Paonessa; and the apples of his eye, Taylor Fennell, Caitlin Ford, Jack Ford, James Fennell, Hayden Harlan, Hailey Harlan, Josh Osborne and Calen Osborne. He was blessed to be made a great-grandfather this year with the treasure of Emma Grace Puckett who filled his last days with joy and love and his “little buddy” George Eisele, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorials for Jim may be sent to the Allegany Community Church, P.O. Box 291, Allegany, OR. 97407.

Jim’s family would like to thank all his wonderful friends and family for the gift of friendship and love over all the years. The family wishes to express their gratitude to the nursing staff at Bay Area Hospital. Their kind hearts and generous spirits will never be forgotten by this family.

Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131.

Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at

 Service Information

Memorial Service
June 22, 2017

11:00 AM
Allegany Community Church
66163 Church Road
Allegany, Oregon 97407

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