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James Edward Backus


1941 - 2019
James Edward Backus

Beloved husband and father, James Edward Backus, born February 9, 1941, and passed August 22, 2019. Lovingly present were his children Dean, Emily, and Sara Backus, sons in law Jonathan Thalberg and Dwayne Ivey, and granddaughters Camilli and Amaya.

Jim was born in Stockton, CA to Joyce and William Backus. Early on, the family spent summers in South Dakota. Jim was adopted by the Sioux tribe, and aptly named "Soldier Boy".

He and brother John grew up in Seattle, both attending the University of Washington. There Jim met his cherished wife, Johanna. Jim's army ROTC career took them to Germany, where Dean was born in 1966.

Upon returning to Seattle, Sara was born in 1969, and Emily in 1978. Jim taught grade school at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma for close to a decade, then returned to active duty in 1984, working in logistics and ROTC management and teaching at Seattle University and Pacific Lutheran University. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1998; he then earned an MBA and was a civil servant in military deployment until 2002.

His love Johanna died in 2005. He devoted himself to volunteering, and selflessly cared for Jo's mom Frances, who died at 100 years of age in 2009. His dedication to her was a testament to his huge heart and tireless ability to serve, embrace, and honor those in need.

Jim's profound impact is remembered by many. He embodied kindness, love, patriotism, service, and integrity.

A service will be held next spring at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Tacoma, WA. Contact [email protected] for details. In lieu of flowers, please donate to any organizations that honor Jim's values and legacy.

We love you, soldier boy-

at ease, and rest in peace.

We will miss you always.

Sign Jim's online

Guest Book at www.Legacy.com
Published in The Seattle Times on Sept. 15, 2019
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