James “Jim” Melvin Calhoun, Sr., age 83, passed away Wednesday, September 15, 2021, at home. He was born April 13, 1938, to Custer and May (Gustafson) Calhoun in Tacoma, WA. Jim had a sister Jean and brother Roger. When his mother remarried (Ross Curtis) they welcomed their little sister Christine.
Jim grew up on a farm in Graham, WA where his work ethic and love for animals grew deeply. It is also where he learned and began his career in poultry. Jim worked at Western Farmer and Pederson’s Fryer Farms in Tacoma, WA. In 1972 he moved his family to Mt. Vernon, WA to work at Draper Valley Farms where he retired as Production Manager after 30+ years. In 1976, Jim served as President of the Washington Poultry Association.
Jim’s Aunt & Uncle lived on Clear Lake, WA and when a young Valen family moved in next door for the summer, he unknowingly met his wife (Jerrie) to be at age 11. Although they didn’t date until college, they were friends throughout their young years. Jim went to WSU with Jerrie where their relationship began a 63-year marriage (Nov 29, 1958). Their devotion and love for each other has been inspiring for their 3 children; James Melvin Jr., John Edwin and Jill Marie.
Jim proudly served his country in the Navy Reserve for 8 years in the Construction Battalion-Seabee, where he enhanced his skills in building things. He loved building anything, whether it was spinning bowls on his lathe, building cabinets, decks, patios, or whatever a family or friend needed.
Jim shared his love for the outdoors with his children and grandchildren hunting, fishing, and boating the lakes and San Juan Islands. He loved traveling with Jerrie where they explored the world together and he especially loved their trips in the RV and spending the winters in Arizona. Jim and Jerrie loved their longtime friends where they went dancing, played bridge, traveled together and shared many wonderful memories that will always be cherished.
In 1999, Jim and Jerrie moved to Alger, WA where they built their dream home and property. He used the skills he learned from the Seabees to take a burned down house where the property had been logged and was filled with old cars and 100’s of tires and created a beautiful space and home bringing family and friends together to enjoy meals, swimming, fresh vegetables and create memories to last a lifetime. The work that went into this land was something he was most proud of and enjoyed immensely. This was his little piece of heaven.
Jim served on the Mt. Vernon City Council for 2 years (Jan 84-Dec 85)
Jim is survived by his wife, Jerrie; children, Jim Calhoun, Jr., John (Debbie) Calhoun, and Jill Calhoun (Chris Ebert); grandchildren, Elizabeth, Jimmy, Caelli; great grandchildren, Isabel, Connor, and Kent; siblings, Chris (Jim) Turcotte and Jean (Carl) Dolley; sister-in-law, Barb Calhoun; nieces and nephew.
He was preceded in death by his father, Custer; mother, May; stepfather, Ross Curtis; brother, Roger Calhoun. He also was preceded by many beloved pets, especially his best friend Tara.
A Celebration of Life is planned for next Summer. Share your memories of Jim and sign the online guest register.
God saw you getting tired
when a cure was not to be
so He wrapped you in his loving arms
And whispered “Come to Me”.
You suffered much in silence,
your spirit did not bend.
You faced your pain with courage
until the very end.
You tried so hard to say with us,
your fight was all in vain.
God took you in His loving arms
and saved you from all pain.
You did not deserve all you went through
and so He gave you rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful
He only takes the best.
It broke our hearts to lose you,
But you did not go alone,
For a piece of us went with you
The day God called you home.