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It is with deepest and utmost sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved husband, James Joseph Maine (Papa) of Maple Valley Washington. Surrounded by his loving family the Lord called him home in the early morning of 7 August 2022, he was 87 years old.
James was born in Blue Springs, Nebraska to Basil and Opal Maine on 9 July 1935. He moved to Seaside Oregon when he was 9 years old and then to Springfield a year or so later. He graduated from Springfield High School in June 1953. He attended the University of Nevada as well as the University of Oklahoma, graduating with a Master of Public Education. Affectionately known as “papa” to his family and friends he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend. Jim was a kind, thoughtful, brilliant, loving man who cherished his family and friends.
Jim was a veteran of the Korean War period proudly serving his country from 1953 to 1957. His first assignment was as a Radio Operator, intercepting Morse code from foreign aircraft at Misawa Air Force Base, Japan. In 1956 he was transferred to Stead Air Force Base, Nevada to a squadron responsible for rescuing downed aircraft. He was selected to travel with the United States Air Force Band as a solo singer, writing, and singing songs that captured the hearts and laughter of his audience.
Jim was a distinguished federal employee from 17 May 1962 to 21 June 1998, serving in California, France, Germany, and most significantly as the Civilian Personnel Officer at McChord Air Force Base, Washington from 1981 to 1998. After retirement from civil service, he provided exemplary leadership as the Joint Base Lewis McChord’s Chapman University College/Brandman University Campus Director and as the Senior Advisor for graduate programs in Organizational Leadership and Human Resource Management. He also served as faculty, sharing his wisdom and knowledge with adult students for over 39 years.
He believed in the Lord and called on “Him” often. Jim loved the simple things in life. He especially enjoyed watching his grandson Kiefer play football, often stating that any team Kiefer played on was his favorite. Of course, his second favorite team was the Seahawks, who very often could bring out emotions not normally seen in Jim, but nevertheless fun for his family to watch. No doubt we will be able to hear his shouts from Heaven when either team messes up.
Jim loved Western movies (specifically Gunsmoke), country music, and Jeopardy. He enjoyed writing and singing songs he wrote for family members and the Lunch Bunch Boys (grandson & friends). A few days before his passing he sang “What Did You See in The Tree Little Bri” for his granddaughter, a song he wrote just for her. He even wrote a love song for his bride Sylvia on their wedding day, which he enjoyed singing to anyone willing to listen. Jim loved entertaining family and friends by quoting poetry and fun songs he had learned from his grandpa.
Jim’s courage was undaunted as he fought the battle against numerous health issues for the past 10 years. Despite spending much of that time in and out of the hospital, he never lost his sense of humor or ability to talk about all his blessings. Throughout this entire journey, he cracked jokes with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He loved sending funny sayings and crazy jokes to his grandson Kiefer. Despite his illnesses, he loved sharing his wisdom and humor with the nurses and caretakers. He had an incredible ability to make the impossible feel possible, and that nothing was ever as bad as it seemed. He lived by his own advice “Why worry about a problem that you cannot fix” and left his family with the best motto to live by - “What would Papa do!”
Jim’s life has been a blessing to all who knew him, and his memory will be treasured forever. He will be profoundly missed; he was loved beyond all measure. He loved life and lived it to the fullest. In the end, he knew that his work here was done. Jim had received the calling, a Heavenly offer he could not refuse, an appointment from which he will not be returning to this earth. This assignment came with a huge bonus, a reunion with family and friends he has not seen in a long time and a place in the Heavenly Choir.
Preceded in death by parents, Basil and Opal Maine, four brothers, and two sisters.
James is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 35 years, Sylvia; children Tammy Furness (Ian) of Maple Valley, WA; Kim Maine (Frank Lum) of Alexandria, VA; Christi Fisher (Toni Neslen) of Bismarck, ND; Tim Thorne (Tracy Bevin) of Monroe, WA; Terry Thorne (Maxine) of Laverne, CA; four grandchildren, Briony and Kiefer Furness, Timothy Desrosiers (Tara) and Jessica Dutill (Michael), 1 great-grandchild; and sister, Judy Perdew of Roswell, GA.
Please join us in celebrating Jim’s extraordinary life on Monday, 17 July 2023, 12:00 noon at the Edine-Yahn & Covington Funeral Chapel, 27221 156th Avenue SE, Kent, Washington 98042, Phone (253) 630-2736. Burial will follow at the Tahoma National Cemetery.
A special thanks to Gina Burzo and her son David for the care they provided during the last months of Jim’s life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jordan Morris Foundation @ https://connect.clickandpledge.com/w/Form/2ec0bfb7-2f91-4fc8-9188-de553f460163 for Type 1 Diabetes in honor of James Joseph Maine.
Jordan Morris Foundation
PO Box 35146, Seattle WA 98124