The family of James N. Creighton is sharing this remembrance with the community:
James Nelson Creighton, passed away peacefully on Nov. 29, 2019 in West Seattle, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Born Oct. 1, 1939 to James and Thelma Creighton in Wadena, Minn., Jim (or “Jamie”) moved with his parents and younger brother, Stuart, to Seattle in 1942. He attended Fauntleroy Elementary, Denny Middle and graduated from West Seattle High School. It was there, in history class, where he met his future wife of 57 years, Diane Finch.
Jim played guard for West Seattle HS, and was talented enough to play football at the collegiate level: first for Everett Community College (All-Coast Conference and All-American Small College), then for the University of Puget Sound, where he also was an assistant coach for one year. He was recruited to play for the Chicago Bears.
Jim graduated from UPS in 1962 with a BA in history and education and became a public school teacher. He completed graduate work in U.S. history, philosophy and constitutional law at the UW, Seattle U., Central and Northwestern University. Jim taught history and coached football, track and basketball first at Grand Coulee, then at Luther Burbank, Ballard and Cleveland High. In 1973, he moved to Seattle’s Garfield High, where he taught and coached for 31 years.
There, he served as Garfield’s history department chair for 15 years, developing the Advanced Placement programs in U.S. history, European history, and American Government and Politics. He was an advisor to the College Board on AP History; his AP study guides were widely used by teachers here and nationwide. Jim was also Garfield’s head football and soccer coach, taking his teams to multiple playoffs and state championships. He concluded his teaching career at Newport High in Bellevue in 2006.
Jim was a member of Kappa Sigma at UPS and a proud member of the Big W Club at West Seattle High. He enjoyed reading, sailing, watching movie all things history and watching football (especially the Huskies).
Jim is survived by his wife of 57 years, Diane (Finch) Creighton; his daughters, Jocelyn (Chris) McCabe and Jennifer Creighton; and grandson Ryan McCabe. He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Thelma Creighton, and his brother, Stuart Creighton.
It is impossible to capture the number of lives Jim impacted as a teacher, mentor, coach, and friend. However, we know all that he did for us as a father and husband, and for that, we are forever grateful.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation or Medic One. Special thanks also to the care team at Providence Mount St. Vincent.
(UPDATE) Friends and family will gather to celebrate the life of Jim Creighton on Saturday, March 7 from 1-3 p.m. at Salty’s on Alki. Please RSVP to 360.870.8708 or email@example.com to be added to the list of attendees..
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