Jim Webster was born Aug. 28, 1943, in Seattle, Washington, and moved to Alaska in the early 1970s after serving in the Navy Air Corps. He then served as a commercial pilot for Webber Air in Ketchikan, Alaska. His next adventure was flying for the Southeast Island School District. During one of the trips to outlying schools, he met a very special passenger, Joan Parker. It didn't take too long for Jim to decide that Joan was the one he wanted to spend his life with. The wedding ceremony took place at altitude, in his plane, tail number (n54454e). Their marriage of 37 years was filled with love and adventure as they explored Alaska, made great friends, and just enjoyed their life together. Jim and Joan moved to Fairbanks in 2000 where Jim opened his own company, Webster's Flying Service. Many of Jim's customers quickly became close friends. With Jim as the pilot, scientists, hunters and tourists gained access to some of the most remote locations in the Last Frontier. Jim was not content to just be the pilot on these chartered trips; he would also consistently assist his clients in whatever goals they were trying to accomplish. A result of his ability to impart calm and collective decision-making, Jim contributed to more than 100 research papers, a dozen graduate student degrees, and helped launch the careers of a number of young and enthusiastic researchers. Jim passed away on May 14, 2020, at Teshekpuk Lake doing one of the things he loved most: flying his clients to remote sites in Alaska. Jim was a man of few words, he was genuinely humble, and he was respected by all who knew him. He will be deeply missed and always fondly remembered. Jim is survived by his beloved wife, Joan Parker Webster, and his sister, June Webster Gonzalas, of Washinton. In lieu of Flowers please contribute to the Fairbanks Food Bank or the Fairbanks Animal Shelter. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date. Online condolences may be made at blanchardfamilyfuneralhome.com.
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Published in Daily News-Miner on May 23, 2020.