The Cambrian

Former healthcare trustee, Citizen of the Year Art James, 94, dies

Arthur “Art” James, 94, of Los Osos died Saturday, Nov. 16, at his home. He and his wife, Artie, lived in Cambria for decades.

James was Cambria’s honorary mayor in 1975, Citizen of the Year in 1982 and was a trustee on the Cambria Community Healthcare District Board of Trustees for 21 years.

He was a proud co-founder of Project Heartbeat, which held upscale fundraising dinners to purchase extra equipment (and upgrade existing apparatus) for the North Coast ambulance service.

Project Heartbeat has an endowment at the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation, and other bequests can be added to that fund for equipment.

James was born in Chatsworth, Calif., raised in the San Fernando Valley, attended L.A. Trade Tech. James became a sign painter. After moving to Idaho, he was drafted into the Army, where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

While he earned a Bronze Star Medal for his actions, it took him 55 years to actually receive the award in 2001.

After working 30 years for the Los Angeles County Healthcare System, James and wife Artie moved to their Cambria cabin in 1974.

In 1977, Art James offered to help Dorie Melendy raise funds for a heart monitor for Cambria’s ambulance. That was the start of Project Heartbeat.

Arrangements are pending.