James Garland Humphrey grew up in Akins, Oklahoma and was known as "Jimmy". He was a proud graduate of Roland High School in 1956. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps shortly after graduation and served for 4 years in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii during the Korean War. Upon his discharge from the Marine Corps, Jimmy worked in the oilfields around Wichita, Kansas before returning to Oklahoma to attend Oklahoma State University. He began his career as a real estate appraiser for the First National Bank of Fort Smith, Arkansas. It was then that he married Jean Redden and had his first daughter, Jamie. Several years later, Jim married his second wife Johanna and raised their children, Paul and Leslie Humphrey in Bellingham, WA. Jim was an active church member of Bellingham Baptist Church for many years. He also taught high school history and geography. Although he was a faithful graduate of Oklahoma State University, he was known to root for the University of Oklahoma Sooners on occasion, which was usually every Saturday football game. He was proud of his Cherokee Indian heritage and carried on the tradition of preserving that family history through vivid storytelling. Jim loved living and fellowshipping with the Bellingham community almost as much as he loved growing up in Akins, Oklahoma. He served both communities well through his passion and pride as an American as well as through his pragmatic sensibilities. He currently enjoys singing his favorite hymn "Amazing Grace" as much as Heaven will allow.
Published in Bellingham Herald on Oct. 4, 2015