James Allan “Jim” Cameron
July 9, 1946 ~ June 23, 2014
James Allan “Jim” Cameron, of Wenatchee, WA, passed away on June 23, 2014. Born July 9, 1946, in Everett, WA to Hugh and Doris Cameron, Jim was raised in Everett, Seattle and West Seattle. As a teen, Jim attended St. Edward’s Seminary in Kenmore, WA, where he graduated in 1964. Jim went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Seattle University in 1968. Always adventurous, during this time, Jim often fished - and sometimes lived - on his aptly named boat, “Jimbeau”. After college, Jim considered a possible teaching career, while taking graduate classes at Central Washington University (“CWU”). Although he ultimately decided teaching would not be his path, Jim’s time at CWU proved to be an important turning point. There, in the spring of 1970, Jim met Linda Sather, a school teacher in training and the love of his life. Smitten as he was, Jim later admitted that he returned early from a summer-long ocean fishing trip off the Washington coast to spend time with Linda. They were married in Seattle, WA on November 20, 1970. Jim was an involved and loving husband, father and grandfather. He coached son, Ryan, in youth soccer for years. He drove far and wide to watch both Ryan and Sarah in their many activities. Jim taught son, Ryan, to fish on trips to the Puget Sound and Icicle Creek near Leavenworth, two of Jim’s favorite spots. Every year, Jim taught the solar system lesson as a “guest speaker” in Linda’s first grade class.
Professionally, Jim worked for 33 years as a case worker for the Washington State DSHS Development Disabilities Division, connecting adults and children with services vital to their health and livelihood. Jim received numerous awards and was frequently recognized for outstanding work over the years. Despite his success, the lasting connections he made with his clients around North Central Washington were by far the most meaningful aspect of his work. As a retiree, Jim also poured himself into the lives of his daughter, Sarah and son, Ryan, and their spouses and children, acting as their unofficial (and unpaid) handyman, problem solver and confidant. He also continued his commitment to community by serving on the board of directors of the Upper Valley Connection, a non-profit organization providing recreation programs for youth and young adults with special needs. An outdoor enthusiast, Jim also found time for fishing and backpacking trips, including a grueling two-day trip along the Washington Coast, highlighted by an ill-timed dip in the ocean, as Jim attempted to “beat the tide” around the face of a rocky cliff (on the return trip, Jim wisely navigated this section during low tide). A modern renaissance man, Jim could skillfully hunt, fish, ski, motorbike, read Latin, remodel homes, and handcraft wooden kayaks and furniture. He was even a surrogate mother to the family’s cat, Tuffy. Jim enjoyed listening to modern artists like Coldplay. He always seemed to know about the latest pop culture trends and could do an uncanny impersonation of Michael Jackson’s famous moon walk, a surprising talent he often showcased at wedding receptions.
Jim’s enduring legacy is serving others. His family was always first. A skilled carpenter, Jim single-handedly built an addition, which became the “hub” for the family home. Years later, Jim cemented his handyman status by remodeling his daughter Sarah’s kitchen and volunteering his services and wood chipping machine (he had one, of course) to help trim the trees and improve the landscaping at son Ryan’s home. The list of others Jim helped in similar ways is long. Family and friends will always remember Jim’s positive spirit and great sense of humor. He bravely faced the setback of a prostate cancer diagnosis with determined perseverance, constantly assuring himself and others that “Today is a good day. Tomorrow will be better.” And Jim always seemed to have a wry “one-liner” for every situation. Battling the later complications of his condition, Jim chose to remain positive and brought levity to his family by (characteristically) quipping, “What a hassle!” While he is no longer with us, anyone who knew Jim well carries some part of Jim’s love, kindness, humor, wisdom, strength, and courage. Jim will be missed immensely, but never forgotten. His legacy of service continues in the lives of the family and friends Jim blessed during his full and vibrant life.
Jim is survived by his wife, Linda Cameron; daughter, Sarah Brittingham (Josh) of Woodinville, WA; son, Ryan Cameron (Isolina Sartini) of Kirkland, WA; mother, Doris Cameron of Pittsburg, KS; his sisters, Patricia Cameron of West Seattle, WA, Carol Sebree of Everett, WA, and Kathleen Cameron of Pittsburg, KS; and four grandchildren he loved dearly, Sophia, Jake, Max and Viggo, who affectionately called him “Papa”.
A Private Celebration of Life gathering will be held for family and friends on Friday, June 27, 2014. In lieu of flowers, Jim requested that donations be made in his memory to the Upper Valley Connection, P.O. Box 2137, Leavenworth, Washington 98826. Please express your thoughts and memories on the online guestbook at jonesjonesbetts.com. Arrangements are by Jones & Jones~Betts Funeral Home in Wenatchee.