Funeral services were held on Feb. 14 at Myers Funeral Service, Porterville for James Heusdens, 72, formerly of Porterville. Private burial was at Hillcrest Memorial Park. He passed away in Palo Alto on Feb. 7.
He was born in Racine, Wis. to Albert and Ella Heusdens on June 9, 1932. He was raised in Wisconsin and served in the United States Navy during the Korean War. He came to Porterville and joined the Porterville Police Department working his way up to Lieutenant, serving 17 years with the department. He continued to work as a detective lieutenant while attending law school at night, and after four years, he passed the bar exam the first time. He then worked three years in the Tulare County District Attorney's office. He worked on the Walker murder case after starting his private law practice in Porterville. The district attorney appointed him special prosecutor on that case. A book and movie, "A Death in California" was later made about this important case.
In his earlier years he worked as a scoutmaster and member of the Porterville Fair board. He married Gwen Denman on Nov. 22, 1962. She passed away in 1987. He was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church, The Elks Lodge and former member of the Rotary and Lions clubs of Porterville.
Survivors include his son, Jim and wife Donna Denman of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and son, Doug Heusdens of Fresno; several brothers and sisters; two grandchildren, Tuyle and Lindsay Denman.
On-line condolences may be made to www.smithfamilychapel.com. Arrangements were under the direction of Smith Family Chapel, Exeter.