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James H. Atherton, 58, died at home in Morgan Hill on January 6, 2009. His wife Colleen, and good friend Anno Hermanns were with him.

Jim was born in Mendota, IL, to Harold and Betty Van Meter Atherton. After graduating high school, Jim attended the University of Illinois where he met his wife Colleen McMonagle. He received his BSEE, and they were married, in 1972.

While working at Hughes Aircraft Co. in Southern California, Jim got his MSEE from CalTech in 1974. Subsequent jobs took him to RCA in NJ, Microswitch in Freeport, IL, Siemens and Sarnoff Corps. in NJ, and finally to his most recent position at Alien Technology in Morgan Hill where he served as Senior Director of IC Technology until shortly before his death.

Jim enjoyed running, walking and hiking; reading books on science, especially physics, science fiction, and anything by Michael Chrichton and John Grisham; and pursuing the perfect date with his wife, which in recent years included attending concerts by aging musicians at various venues in the Bay Area.

He is survived by his wife of 36 years; four children, Courtney Weirback (Andrew), Blake Atherton (Jen), both of NJ, and daughters Kelly and Whitney of Morgan Hill; 3 grandchildren, Avery, Laura, and Colin Weirback; brothers David Atherton (Jayne), of IN, and Kevin Atherton (Collene) of IL; mother-in-law Antoinette McMonagle of FL; father-in-law Thomas McMonagle (Maxine) of AL; brother-in-law Tom McMonagle of MN; and sisters-in-law Meg Dietrich (Dan) of IL, and Antoinette McMonagle of CA; and an extended step-family from his childhood in IL.

There were no formal services. A reception in Jim’s honor was hosted by Alien Technology on January 12, 2009.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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