Jim Zuanich died unexpectedly Saturday, May 24 while hiking one of his favorite local trails, Pine and Cedar lakes. He was a proud commercial fisherman owning the purse seine vessel Marshal Tito. Son of Andrew and Irma Zuanich, he leaves Shirley, his wife of 37 years, sons Nick (wife Erin) and Andy (Leah), and daughter Katherine Zuanich, as well as brother Dick (wife Margaret) Zuanich. Born and raised in Bellingham, Jim graduated from both the UW and WWU and served in the Peace Corps in the Fiji Islands. Jim was very active on many boards over his adult life, including Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, Southeast Alaska Seiners, Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association and most recently the Working Waterfront Coalition. He thought through the issues very carefully and was not afraid to be the independent voice in these matters. He was greatly respected throughout the fishing industry for this, and had no trouble being elected or reelected to these boards. Jim had a very inquisitive mind and a passion for knowledge and reading. In his personal life, most of all he loved being with his family. He and his daughter loved debating economic policy, whether on walks together or during wheel watch on the boat. When the boys were out on the ocean fishing, Jim would check the weather forecasts and call to check in with them just about every day, just to make sure that everything was going okay. Mostly though, he loved being with Shirley (and one of the family dogs) on a hike, which is exactly what he was doing when he left this world. Living together on a fishing boat for months at a time, the captain and crew really get to know each other (for better or worse), and Jim was able to be a really positive presence in the lives of the many people who worked for him over the years. He leaves a shocked and grieving family and a very large circle of friends. Our family's lesson is to heed all signs of cardiac discomfort. Memorials may be made to the Bellingham Technical College Foundation, 3028 Lindbergh Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225, attn: Jim Zuanich Memorial Fisheries Scholarship. A celebration of Jim's life will be held at the Squalicum Boathouse, 2600 S. Harbor Loop in Bellingham at 1 PM on Friday, September 12th. You may share memories with the family at www.westfordfuneralhome.com.
Westford Funeral Home & Cremation
1301 Broadway Bellingham, WA 98225
Published in Bellingham Herald from May 28 to June 1, 2014