James Barton Luchini, 64, of Las Cruces, passed away on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 in Phoenix, AZ. Jim was enroute home from his job as a Project Manager at Alyeska Pipeline Pump Station 1 on the North Slope of Alaska.
Jim was born in Brownwood, TX in 1946, as the second child of James B. and Lee B. Luchini. He was raised in Truth or Consequences, Farmington and Las Cruces, NM. After High School, Jim enlisted in the Army and served 1 tour in Vietnam as a Helicopter Crew Chief in the First Air Calvary. Upon returning, Jim settled in Las Cruces and joined his Dad in Luchini Electric. Jim attended NMSU completing both his BA and MBA degrees while working full-time, and simultaneously building his house in Fairacres.
In the early 1980's, encouraged by a high school friend and tales of the pipeline, Jim went to Alaska to look for work, by literally landing at Deadhorse and knocking on doors. Someone took a chance and a long working career in Alaska began. In 1991 he landed a position with Alyeska Pipeline and became one of the pipeline family. In 2007 he tried to settle down into life in Las Cruces and ease into retirement by taking a job at NASA's White Sands Test Facility, but he still longed to go back to Alaska. He returned to Alyeska Pipeline, where his heart will always reside.
Jim's specialty was Project Management. He loved bringing a group together, forming a team, rallying the team around the plan, and helping them execute that plan. If a job required action, toughness and tenacity he was your guy. He was known as much for his no-nonsense, decisive leadership style as he was for his ability to shield his team from distractions to allow them to deliver excellent performance.
Jim married three times, Sandy Sherman, Elisabeth Lynch, and his present wife of 18 years, Tami Harpham. He was a loving husband and father, who deeply regretted the time spent away from his family and was looking forward to enjoying them on a more regular basis. He could always be counted on for an encouraging word and sound advice for his family.
A true Renaissance man, he was equally comfortable wiring a house, rebuilding a car engine, managing a multi-million dollar construction project, or demonstrating to an IRS auditor the error of his ways.
Jim is survived by his wife Tami and son Levi Luchini of Las Cruces, NM; son Shaun Luchini; son Tony Luchini; daughter Sarah Warren; and 6 grand children Dylan, Savannah, Dallas, Luke, Olivia and Sophia all of Boise, Idaho.
Service arrangements are with Graham's Funeral Home a memorial service for Jim will be held at 5:00 pm, Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 at the Graham Chapel located at 555 W Amador, Las Cruces, NM.
The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude and appreciation for the medical personnel and bystanders in Phoenix and Alaska that tried to make sure Jim got home.