Centennial Complex pavilion named in honor of donors James and Marge Jetton
When the new Centennial Complex is completed, the amphitheater pavilion—containing two major amphitheaters—will be named the James and Marge Jetton Amphitheater Pavilion, in honor of a couple whose donation toward funding the facility is among the largest and most generous.
While James Jetton, MD, passed away in 2003, Marge—who will be 102 in September of this year—pursues an active life of volunteerism and philanthropy. In addition to the philanthropic support the Jettons have given throughout many years to important projects around the world, Marge continues to give to her Church and her nation another priceless gift—her living example of healthful lifestyle and its relationship to longevity.
The November 2005 issue of National Geographic featured Marge in an articl
e titled “The Secrets of Long Life” that documented Marge’s approach to life, exercise, eating choices, and dedication to God. This article led to segments on CNN, local news broadcasts, and a front-page article in the Los Angeles Times.
In recognition of her lifetime of philanthropy, Marge received the 2005 Philanthropist of the Year Award at the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon in Riverside, California.
In 1926 Marge married James Aston Jetton while they were both working at St. Helena Sanitarium and finishing school—she in nursing and he in pre-medicine. After James’ graduation from college, the couple moved to Loma Linda, where James began medical school at the College of Medical Evangelists and Marge frequently worked 20-hour shifts to put her husband through school. James was later to say, “Marge kept us going through the tough times. Her dedication motivated me to stay in school.” Through the years, Marge worked or volunteered at all three hospital facilities in Loma Linda—the original hotel turned sanitarium, the rebuilt hospital on the hill, and the current medical center.
Newly graduated Dr. James Jetton began practice in Southern California and stayed until his retirement in 1990 after more than 50 years in the medical profession. Throughout the years, the Jettons volunteered for two mission relief tours in Southern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and in Ethiopia. They paid the college tuition of an Ethiopian young man whose father they had met. They also sponsored an orphaned Korean girl they read about in church materials and corresponded with her until she grew up and married.
Volunteering has been a longstanding tradition with Marge in multiple organizations, including assisting the Red Cross for 30 years, saving stamps for the Voice of Prophecy, and spending 15 years with volunteer services at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Dr. and Mrs. Jetton’s support to Loma Linda University throughout the years has been remarkable and has included professional endowments, student loan funds, and the Social Action Community Health Clinics. The Jettons once described their philosophy of giving this way: “We feel that giving is a very big part of our lives. We have felt that if there was a legitimate need or a worthy cause, we would always find a way to help. Give God all the credit!”