Echevarria, Jim

Daniel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, ID
Interview Date: 

Jim was born in Boise, Idaho in 1936 to Julio Echevarria and Antonia Arego.  He grew up as a part of Boise's Basque community, where he learned about his heritage at family gatherings, picnics, and boarding houses, including the house his mother ran on State Street.  Jim remembers the types of gatherings that were common before the Basque Center was built, and how the Center provided a new venue for Basques to socialize.

After graduating in 1954 from St. Teresa's Academy, a Catholic high school many Basques attended in Boise,  Jim joined the US Navy.  He was stationed in Manila, the Philippines, where he eventually served on a hand-picked crew for one of the Navy's new radio stations.  He met other Basque families who had immigrated to the Philippines, and was surprised to see how they strived to maintain the Basque culture in much the same way he did.

Jim retired from the Navy in 1958 and moved back to Boise.  He married Yvonne Urriolabeitia, and settled in Boise.  Shortly thereafter, Jim started a long career with St. Alphonsus Hospital, where he worked in several areas and helped develop the pastoral care department.  He has given lectures on pastoral care across the country, motivating other hospitals to start programs of their own.  Since his retirement in 1992, Jim has focused on his family, and volunteers his talents in a variety of ways. 

Audio Recording: 
Cultural identity
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