Beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother, James Rea Bean, 84, of Bellingham, WA passed away on June 27, 2016. He was born in Oil Hill, Kansas in 1931 to parents Roy and Kitty Joyce Bean, and later moved to Las Cruces, NM where he began violin lessons and hunted and explored the desert country with his father and brothers which began a lifelong love of both music and the outdoors. He attended New Mexico State University and received a BA in Music Performance, participating in the ROTC Program. After graduation he served in the US Air Force, stationed in Korea. Upon returning he was transferred to McChord Air Force Base. While there he joined the Tacoma Symphony where he was introduced to his future wife Emily Walters, a fellow violinist. Emily and Jim were married on June 10, 1956 in Olympia, Washington. Jim and Emily were charter members of the Cascade Symphony where they sat together for 30 years on the first stand of second violins. Jim began his long career teaching music in the Edmonds School District as well as teaching private violin students. Today Jim's work and influence lives on as his students carry on the powerful and positive impact of his teaching. Jim's love of the art of violin playing carried him through his life and was the foundation of his deepest connections to the people he loved. His greatest gift to each of his children was igniting a lifelong love for playing the violin in orchestras, quartets and campgrounds around the country. Upon moving to Bellingham in his later years his musical connection led him to his second wife, Ruth Grainger, whom he married on July 17, 2012. Despite the limitations resulting from Parkinson 's disease, he played his violin daily giving great enjoyment to residents and caregivers at the Mount Baker Care Center. He is survived by his brother Sam Bean of Audubon, PA, children Nancy (Lloyd Smith) Bean of Philadelphia, PA, David (Patty) Bean, of Bellingham, WA, and Joyce (Brian) Lewis of Cincinnati, OH and grandchildren Nicholas Bean, Mikah Bean, Joseph Stanichar, and Emily Lewis. Music, mountains, and his family were his life's joy and inspiration. A Celebration of Life will be held at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 2401 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225 on Saturday, July 2 at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a contribution in his memory be made either to First Congregational United Church of Christ of Bellingham or Washington Trails Association at 2019 Third Ave., Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98121.
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First Congregational Church
2401 Cornwall Ave
Bellingham, WA 98225
Published in Bellingham Herald on June 29, 2016