James  Sterrett


James Edward "Jim" Sterrett 87, passed away peacefully in his home in Palo Alto, Calif., with his youngest brother, brother's wife (Teresa) and caregivers at his side on Monday (May 20, 2019) after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's Disease.
Jim was born Nov. 8, 1931, to Charles and Annie Sterrett in Grove City, Pa., one of four children.
Jim was sent to the Boy Scout World Jamboree in France in 1947. He graduated from Grove City High School in 1949, Grove City College (BSEE) in 1955 and Stanford University (MSEE) in 1956. During college summer breaks, Jim was licensed engineer for radio broadcast stations in Corry, Pa., Oil City and Emporium, Pa. Jim was in the Pennsylvania National Guard and was called to active duty with 229th Field Artillery Battalion, 28th Division and spent eight months in Heilbronn Germany while serving military duty two years between his sophomore and junior years at Grove City College.
Jim resided in the Palo Alto area since attending Stanford. He initially worked as a research associate at Stanford. He then joined Granger Associates, a small start-up firm, and several years later, he moved to another start-up company, Applied Technology, Inc. In 1965, he and three other people founded Avantek, Inc. where he was the principal product designer and developer of high performance wideband UHF transistor amplifiers. At Avantek, Jim was a director, an officer, and held positions of manager and vice president of semiconductor research and development. Avantek went public in 1978, and Jim retired in 1991 when Hewlett Packard acquired Avantek. In 1985, the Board of Directors of Avantek named Jim a Fellow of Avantek, a title instituted to recognize an individual for significant and extraordinary technical service over an extended period of time.
Through his adult life, Jim kept close ties with family and friends. He participated in family reunions in Pennsylvania. He worked exhaustively on publishing family genealogy documents. Jim also provided a home for and cared for his widowed mother from 1980 until her death in 1994.
Jim enjoyed traveling, playing bridge, folk dancing, scuba diving and skiing.
Jim never married. Surviving Jim are: his brother, John, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and children of grandnieces and grandnephews. Preceding Jim in death were his parents, his brother, Robert, and his sister, Martha.
A ceremony for family will be performed at a time yet to be determined at Jim's parent's gravesite at Mt. Irwin Cemetery in Venango County.
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Published on June 24, 2019
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