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Obituaries from the Past Week

Thompson, James M.  
July 26, 1921 - November 15, 2014 James M. Thompson was born in Niche North Dakota on July 26th 1921, to Fred and Esther (O'Leary) Thompson. "Jimmy" excelled in his studies and moved to Spokane in 1939 to attend Gonzaga University. His strong sense of social justice led him to pursue a law degree but a lack of funding forced him to leave Gonzaga after two years. After agreeing to give a friend a ride to Kaiser Aluminum's Trentwood plant for a job interview, he decided to put in his own application and was hired immediately. Given Jimmy's outgoing personality and leadership skills, he found a place in Local 338 of the United Steelworkers Union. It was his goal to secure fairness and economic security for all workers. He led a group of members known as the "Young Turks" and was elected Local President at the age of 28. He transformed the office of President into a full time position and oversaw the building of a local union hall, constructed of brick as a sign of strength and permanence. He was then appointed to the Steelworkers International Union and was eventually assigned to the Los Angeles area. It was there that he met Dolores "Mike" Mulheran who was a stewardess for Trans World Airlines. After a brief courtship they were wed on March 2, 1954, in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Two years later, they returned to Spokane. Their union produced five children, Colleen, Terry, Tim (Mary), Pat (Lori) and Brian. He was a skilled negotiator and rose to become the Sub District Director of the Union and oversaw multiple labor contracts around the Pacific Northwest and Montana. Although described as a "Union War Horse", he was respected by management and members alike and formed many friendships with both. He worked with elected officials at all levels including U.S. Senators, Congressmen and Governors. He was at New York's Madison Square Garden when Marilyn Monroe sang Happy Birthday to President Kennedy. He retired in 1982 and remained in Spokane until recently moving to Everett to be closer to his family and grandchildren (Megan, Caitlin Ryan, Charlie, Tom, Dan and Joe). Jimmy led a full life, perhaps too full at some points. He loved sports, particularly Notre Dame Football, fishing, hunting and politics. He hated funerals so he is not having one. In the Irish tradition, please share a good story with family and friends and raise a glass in his memory. Irish Tenors - The Old Man The tears have all been shed now We've said our last goodbyes His souls been blessed He's laid to rest And it's now I feel alone He was more than just a father A teacher my best friend He can still be heard In the tunes we shared When we play them on our own I never will forget him For he made me "what I am" Though he may be gone Memories linger on And I miss him, the old man As a boy he'd take me walking By mountain field and stream And he showed me things Not known to kings And secret between him and me Like the colors of the pheasant As he rises in the dawn And how to fish and make a wish Beside the holly tree I thought he'd live forever He seemed so big and strong But the minutes fly And the years roll by For a father and a son And suddenly when it happened There was so much left unsaid No second chance To tell him thanks For everything he's done
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Published in Spokesman-Review on Nov. 23, 2014
TOMAYKO, Joyce A. - Spokane  
TOMAYKO, Joyce A. (Age 76) Of Reardan, Washington passed away on November 17, 2014 in the loving care of Hospice of Spokane. Joyce was born in Rocky Ford, Colorado on September 12, 1938. She married Leopold Tomayko on November 25, 1954. Joyce was a homemaker as well as working a few years each at the Northern Quest Casino in their uniform shop and the child care center at the Reardan Lutheran Church. Joyce loved children and always gave her heart to the lives of the children she touched. She was known as Grandma or Mrs. T. to all the children. Joyce is survived by her husband, Leo; and six children, Julie, Vicki, Matt, Rosy, Mark and P.J.; as well as nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Joyce is also survived by two brothers, Ron and Mike Erickson; and her two sisters, Lynda and Melody. Joyce will be dearly missed. Joyce will lie-in-state at the Chapel of Strate Funeral Home, on Saturday, November 22, 2014 from 9-10 AM followed by a funeral service at 11:00 AM with Pastor Steve Gutzman, officiating. Interment will follow at the Reardan Cemetery, Reardan, WA. Memorials can be made in lieu of flowers to the Spokane Hospice, P.O. Box 2215, Spokane, Washington 99210, or to the Reardan Fire and EMS, PO Box 151 Reardan, WA 99029. Please sign the online guestbook at . STRATE FUNERAL HOME, Davenport, WA is caring for the family.
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Published in Spokesman-Review from Nov. 20 to Nov. 21, 2014
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