James Paul Reed (1941 - 2018)

Obituary
6 entries | 1 photo
  • "Dearest Sandy, We are so sadden by Jim's passing. What a..."
    - Karen & Russ Renk
  • "Sandy and Jim built us a wonderful home, which we enjoyed..."
    - David Robert
  • "Jim was a rock and no matter how he felt, was always there..."
    - LEE LAWRENCE
  • "Jim and Robbie Mantooth send our sincere condolences as..."
    - Jim and Robbie Mantooth
  • "I worked for him on a couple of jobs in 1996 or so. He was..."
    - Tony Goldenberg
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Jim Reed loved life and lived it to the fullest. He was born in Michigan City, Indiana, and spent his childhood building dinghies and sailboats on the sand beaches of Lake Michigan and constructing tree houses in the woods nearby. He and his three siblings were born within a five year span and were a close knit group. Whenever Jim looked back on his youth, it was not his prowess in sports nor the mischievous pranks he pulled that were important to him but rather, he took great pride in the fact that he had achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

Jim and his wife, Sandy, met and married while attending Ball State University where he graduated with a degree in molecular biology. However, Jim soon discovered working in a lab all day was not for him. He realized what he really wanted to do was share his love of math and science with others and thus spent the next 17 years in a classroom as a school teacher and principal.

Most of Jim's years as an educator were in Juneau, Alaska, where Jim and Sandy moved in 1971 seeking adventure and a wholesome environment to raise their daughters. And they were wonderful years! However, after 11 years it was time to fulfill a promise they had made each other when they married…a year traveling in Europe. They took the girls' school books with them and traveled together in a motor home visiting ancient ruins, battle fields, cathedrals, museums, even the Berlin Wall. Upon their return to the States, they moved to Port Angeles because it reminded them so much of Alaska. Jim then returned to his childhood love of woodworking and he and Sandy started a construction company in which Jim designed and built custom homes. He was a gifted, self-taught craftsman who loved working with wood. Sandy was often heard to say that she loved the man but hated the sawdust!

Jim found people fascinating and enjoyed learning about their lives. He was always willing to offer a helping hand whether it was church or Rotary projects, officiating swim meets, mentoring young people, or working on Habitat for Humanity projects. He always put others before himself.

Cancer entered his life 19 years ago and tried to steal him from us multiple times over the years. But, he was not having it; he had too much life left to live. So each time cancer reared its ugly head, he stared it down with his signature, quiet resolve until the cancer skulked back to the far corners of his body. He endured so much during those times, but he never complained, and the doctors learned what we had known all along: never bet against Jim.

We got another 19 years with him, years that were filled with marriages, births, graduations, friends, grandchildren, construction projects, trips around the world, meals of vegetables from the garden, evenings sitting by the river, tears, laughter and lots and lots of love.

In mid July, cancer came knocking for the last time and after a short battle, Jim passed away peacefully at home knowing that the Lord was waiting for him. He leaves behind his wife, Sandy, and daughters, Shelley and Heather. He is also survived by his sister, Marilyn; brother, Tom; two sons-in-law, four grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

A 2:00 memorial service will be held on Wednesday, August 22nd, at Sequim Community Church with a reception following at the Reed's home.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Aug. 12, 2018
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