Jim Bockholt

September 17, 1942 – February 4, 2023

James “Jim” Bockholt, 80, of Palo Alto, passed away on February 4th, 2023 after a long battle with Parkinson’s. He died peacefully at home surrounded by his family. He was very loved and will be missed.

Jim was born on September 17th, 1942 in Monterey, California and his family soon returned to Luzerne, Iowa where he spent his childhood. After graduating from the University of Iowa (BS, 1965) and the University of Illinois (MS, 1966), he traveled to California to pursue a PhD in Civil Engineering from Stanford University (1972). He met Mako (while bowling!) and they were married on August 13th, 1967.

He was a world-renowned structural analyst and worked for Space Systems Loral for almost 50 years. He developed test specifications and guidelines for structural analysis that are used at labs across the United States. He was the Lead Structural Analyst for satellite programs that improved weather forecasting by providing early warning systems and international communication satellites that helped bring the world together.

Jim was an avid sports fan and especially enjoyed attending Stanford football and basketball games, often traveling to out-of-state competitions. He also enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren play sports and supported them by volunteering as a coach and ref/umpire. He loved golfing, dining out with friends, and traveling (he especially enjoyed taking cruises). Jim was also a long-time faithful member of St. Paul Lutheran Church where he served as the Church Council president, vice-president, and treasurer.

Jim was preceded in death by his father, LuVerne Bockholt; mother, Olive Boehmke Bockholt Kramer; stepfather, Kenneth Kramer; siblings, Donn Kramer and Patricia Kramer Mensing. He is survived by his wife, Mako Bockholt; his children, Kenneth Bockholt (Wendy) and Lori Bockholt; his grandchildren, Alicia Bockholt, Justin Bockholt, Josh Bockholt, Tomas Duron, and Ana Duron; his sister, Anne Brecht; and his sister-in-law, Chris Kramer Devoe.

Family and friends are welcome to attend a memorial service on February 18th, 2023 (please contact family for details). The family asks in lieu of flowers, charitable contributions in memory of Jim be made to Brain Support Network (www.brainsupportnetwork.com) or St. Paul Lutheran Church.


  1. I knew Jim well when we worked together in SSL. He was always a friendly and helpful person and I always enjoyed Jim to be with.

  2. I worked with Jim for over a decade – I learned structural analysis, dynamics, and test from Jim. He is one of the best people and engineers I have ever met. His positive impacts on the products built at Ford Aerospace/Loral/SSL and now Maxar will continue to resonate into the future. RIP.

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