James Thomas Holland

James Thomas Holland

December 25, 1920 ~January 24, 2013

Jim passed away suddenly after collapsing at his home on Whidbey Island.

Jim was born and raised in Seattle and outlived his siblings Eugene, John, and Ruth. He attended Madrona Grade School and could remember numerous facts learned there throughout his life. He loved visiting his old neighborhood and often drove or walked through the Madrona neighborhood recalling fond memories of his childhood. He retained friendships with some of his teachers even into his 70's. Jim attended Garfield High School where he played the violin in the all- city orchestra. He astounded people late in life by recalling so many titles of musical compositions he heard or played through grade school and high school. Jim had a love of music and hymns throughout his life. Jim also loved his Latin and math classes in high school. As a youth, he was small of stature, so ping-pong became his sport. He never lost a game in ping-pong competition.

Following high school graduation in 1938, he attended the University of Washington until 1942. Jim married his high school sweetheart, Juanita Marshall, on Labor Day, 1942. He admired Juanita because she was the only girl he'd ever known who could hit a baseball over the fence at Madrona playfield, and, as a singer, she shared his love of music. Jim enlisted in the US Army that fall and was shipped overseas in the spring of 1943.

Jim parachuted into Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6th, 1944 and continued to serve in the US Army in England, France, and Germany to the end of WWII. In May 1945, he returned home just before Christmas and his 25th birthday to rejoin his wife and meet his 2-year-old daughter, Virginia, for the first time.

Jim worked for 38 years from 1945 to 1983 for Richardson and Holland (R&H) in purchasing and plant management, which he ran with his brothers. During his entire career he had perfect attendance. Almost anyone in the Seattle area during that era had a milkshake or sundae made with R&H products.

During a 36-year marriage with Juanita, Jim became father of six children: Virginia (husband Frank Wyland), Van (wife Katie), Jamie (passed away 1988), Chris (wife Kathryn Kelsey), Katie (passed away 1962 at birth), and Leif (partner Brian McGuffey). Juanita passed away in September 1978.

Jim married Jayne Dewitt Lawyer in February 1979. The Hollands and the Lawyers had been friends for years. Jim became stepfather to Pam (husband Ed Loomis, Becky (passed away in 1991), (husband Bob Mix), Lafe (wife Cleveland Hall), and Wendy (husband Corlan Carlson).

Jim adored his beloved "Jaynie" and they were the best of companions in all they did. They traveled to China, Europe, and all over the U.S., visiting extended family and friends. Jim and Jayne maintained households in Seattle and on Whidbey Island for many years. They eventually settled on Whidbey Island where they lived together happily.

Jim enjoyed keeping up with his numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren from both marriages. He loved hearing from all of them, and was proud of their accomplishments.

Jim loved sports. He was very athletic and pushed himself in tennis until the age of 40, running, swimming, biking, hiking, and walking. He claims to have swum across Green Lake in Seattle more than anyone else ever, which is quite likely true. He did this daily from late spring to early fall from the early 60's into the 90's. And even as an octogenarian, he would often ride his bicycle from north Seattle to Seward Park and back. Jim loved talking about current events and sports. He was privileged to spend an evening with Royal Brougham, the well-known Seattle sportswriter only weeks before Brougham's passing following an Alabama/Husky Game. The two had a great time reflecting on their love of sports, and both talked with great joy about having seen Babe Ruth play. Sports on TV were a favorite. He was even watching the Australian Open up to January 24th. Tennis was his favorite sport, and he had the opportunity to see a match with his all-time favorite player, Rod Laver.

Friends are welcome to a celebration of Jim's life on Sunday, February 10th at 3:00 at Gift of Grace Church in Wallingford: 2102 N 40th St, Seattle. Jim loved to look out at the Olympic Mountains, and his ashes will be scattered at Double Bluff on Whidbey Island and Alki Point in Seattle. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to or to Gift of Grace Church to support their program serving the homeless.

Go sing a hymn, take a hike, or watch the ARTS channel.

Jim would have joined you!

He loved it all.

Published in The Seattle Times on Feb. 3, 2013