A memorial is planned tomorrow in Newcastle for former West Seattleite Jim Baugher, who died last weekend. Here’s a remembrance shared by those who knew him well.
Jim L. Baugher, former West Seattle resident, passed away suddenly from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 47 on October 21, 2012.
Jim lived life to the fullest and was an inspiration to many. He was vibrant, smart, and loved to laugh. While he never claimed to be perfect, he continually strived to learn, to grow, and to inspire others. We are so grateful for the short time we had with Jim, and his accomplishments and approach to life are worth sharing so you can get to know the Jim we knew.
As a father of four, he cherished each child for who they were as an individual. Through his oldest son Tim, he was given the gift of two beautiful twin granddaughters, Madeline and Ava, and witnessing Tim (27) blossom from a son into an invaluable friend. He was so proud of Zach (25), who recently graduated from Evergreen College, and who shared his love of skiing and adventure. His son Skyler (13) wowed him with his artistic talents, kind nature, and exceptional smarts. His only daughter, Analise (5, with him in photo above), had daddy wrapped around her finger from the day he laid eyes on her in China, where he served as her anchor as she transitioned from orphan to daughter. Analise is a kindergartener at Lafayette Elementary.
If you asked him what he was the most proud of in his life, or what was his greatest accomplishment was, he would say “my children” before you could draw a breath. Jim loved his children fiercely and he knew they loved him just as much. If you were one of Jim’s loved ones, you could count on him saying “I love you” at the end of every single phone call.
Jim was also a giving son and loving brother. He lost his own father, Vic, at an early age, and that shaped how he much valued his family. He and his brother Mike were very close, both enjoying a friendly competitive golf game and most recently racing Ferrari’s in Las Vegas. His mother Carol was so proud of Jim as he graduated with honors from high school, as a star basketball player and someone who had an extremely wide circle of friends. Both homecoming king and valedictorian at Kennewick High School, he transitioned to attending Eastern Washington University. He balanced being a new husband, father, and college student. He started in computer science, but out of a desire to support his family immediately went into the grocery management business. This served him well as he moved up the management track at several grocery leaders.
He gave his talents, in chronological order, to Albertson’s, Haggen’s, Northwest Food Connection, Food Emporium, Carnation Market, and until Saturday was general manager for Matthew’s Thriftway in Lakemont. As evidenced by the many posts on his Facebook page, he was a beloved colleague and manager who served as a mentor for many. He also was active in the local communities where he served, becoming part of the Chamber of Commerce and providing support from his stores for local organizations in need.
You can’t talk about Jim without talking about his love of the great outdoors. He enjoyed a plethora of activities, as a skier, golfer, climber, hiker, slack-liner… you name it. Any opportunity to be with nature and in the mountains grounded Jim and brought him peace. He climbed Mount Rainier 5 times, and in 2006, scaled it with climbing great Ed Viesturs. He scaled all the Northwest peaks. He loved to learn new things and most recently was trying out sailing.
Jim by his nature was a fixer. You brought him a problem (and sometimes when you didn’t), he would engage to help make it right. Right away. You could count on him to know how to do things most of us would have to google for. He loved great food, red wine, and specialty micro-brews.
As a loyal friend, he maintained his friendships for decades. He also fostered new ones, with no less than 3899 Facebook friends. (Yes, that’s almost 4K). He loved to experience life through learning about others, and inspired others by frequently posting inspirational quotes.
In addition to his immediate family, Jim is survived by Analise’s mother, Amy Brown, his step-father Jim Lewis, his sister-in-law Cyndi Baugher, and his niece Taylor Steagall and countless loved ones, friends, and colleagues.
Jim had two favorite quotes. First, he liked to say “If you don’t love what you do, love why you do it”. As someone whose advice was highly sought after (on a huge variety of topics!), he offered up valuable perspective to help us align our personal values with our actions, and do the right thing. The second quote is one by Henry David Thoreau. Jim aspired to live these words, and to honor his memory, we invite you to do the same …“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler”.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Lake Stevens fire fund at Chase Bank, which will benefit his son Skyler, whose family home burned down to the ground in March of this year.
A celebration of life will take place on Friday, October 26th, at the Newcastle Golf and Country Club, 15500 Six Penny Label, Newcastle, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The eulogy and sharing of stories will start at 7:15, and anyone with a story to share is strongly encouraged to do so. There will also be a viewing from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at Floral Hills Funeral Home at 409 Filbert Rd, Lynnwood. If you have a connection to Jim or his loved ones, please join us.
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