Today, April 5, 2019 would have been my Dad’s 76th birthday. He passed exactly one year and one week ago.
Anyone who knew my Dad, Jim, knew he was a creature of habit. For the last 40 years, he had coffee every morning with the same lifelong friends at Secoma Lanes Bowling Alley. Winters were for doing puzzles (a.k.a. “Puzzle Season”) and summers were for working in his immaculately maintained yard. He always whistled while he worked.
Dad enjoyed a steady diet of sliced meats and cheeses, ice cream (especially mint chocolate chip), pepperoni pizza, and black coffee. Vegetables were strictly forbidden. Lord help a waitress who accidentally added a vegetable to his plate! He loved a good joke and likely would have teased her about it when given the chance. Dad had a great sense of humor and usually had a joke or two on hand at any given time.
Black cowboy boots, a nice button-up Country Western shirt (always with a pocket for his toothpick holder), and his watch were his daily uniform.
Amongst his many accomplishments, Dad was proud to have served in the U.S. Navy. In addition to driving a tanker truck for Gulf Oil, he also enjoyed driving a bus for multiple school districts over the years.
Dad loved being the Director of Transportation for both the Federal Way and Highline School Districts and was known by many as the best boss they ever had. Dad eventually retired as the Terminal Manager and Dispatcher at Gresham Transfer and continued to fill in for them from time to time.
Dad took pride in everything he did and there wasn’t anything he couldn’t figure out how to make or do. He was incredibly organized, generous, and was always willing to lend a helping hand. In fact, many friends and family relied on him to help with various projects and he was always happy to do so.
In addition to working on his puzzles and yard, Dad loved to build intricate model train tables, play his guitar, sing karaoke at home (Country Music, of course), and watch both the Seahawks and Mariners play.
Dad was very proud of his daughter and grandsons. There was rarely a lacrosse game he missed, a birthday he didn’t celebrate, or an article of theirs he didn’t save. He made Christmas Eve very special every year.
Jim is survived by his only daughter, Shelly, who he lovingly referred to as ‘Pal’, his two grandsons, Nathan and Lucas, his sisters Barbara and Geraldine, many nephews and nieces, and his best friend Tom who all loved him very much.
He is preceded in death by his older brother George, and his parents George and Marion.
Jim had more friends than he could count and many of them were truly like family to him.
He was one of a kind and will be greatly missed.
Happy Trails, Dad.
Until we meet again…