Jim lost his battle with lung cancer on 6/29/2019. He smoked in his early years, but quit in 1973.
Jim was born on the farm in Amenia, ND on December 5th, 1942. He was the middle child of a family of 9 kids. His siblings were Ellen, Donald, Janet, Karen, David, Terry, and twins Linda & Lorentz.
Jim was preceded in passing by Karen and Lorentz.
He graduated from Amenia High School as Valedictorian in 1960 and enlisted in Air Force in 1962.
Jim served as a radio and radar technician on Material Air Transport Service (MATS) cargo airplanes. Jim spent 3 years overseas, stationed at Tachikawa AB in Japan and Hickam AFB in Hawaii. Jim served temporary duty in many Far East places including: Korea, Okinawa, Guam, Thailand, Philippines and smaller islands in the Pacific.
Jim was honorably discharged in January, 1966 and enrolled at North Dakota State University in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Jim married Sue Ann Maker in 1966 and they had a son, Jeffery James in June, 1968. Jim graduated from NDSU in 1969 and was recruited by Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) in Bremerton, WA. Jim and Sue had a daughter, Darcy in January, 1970. They divorced in 1971 and Jim had custody of both children.
Jim married Laura Kuligowski in 1974 and they divorced later in 1985.
Jim married his current wife Darlene Irgens in 1989 and gained a daughter, Staci who lost her battle with cancer in January, 2019.
Jim’s initial responsibility in the Design Division at PSNS was non-nuclear alarm systems for all surface ships and submarines and tank level indicators for surface ships.
Jim served as a Design Division Coordinator for the complex and extensive overhaul of the Navy’s only true Nuclear Cruiser CGN-9, USS Long Beach in 1979-1981. After that 2 year stint, Jim was hired as a Supervisory Engineer in the Electrical Design Division, Code 270.4. Jim was blessed to serve in this group with what he considered to be the finest engineers and technicians in the shipyard. No problem was too difficult for this group. Jim thoroughly enjoyed working with these skilled professionals. During this time Jim complied a study for Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on the maintenance and safety for all electrical and mechanical equipment in the propulsion spaces of the Nuclear Carrier CVN 68, USS Nimitz. All aspects of this study were addressed by NAVSEA and were applied to all ten of the carriers in the class.
In the early 1990’s, when the shipyard began the process of recycling nuclear submarines, Jim was assigned the task of compiling a document outlining the demilitarization of all equipment and material on a submarine so that it could be either properly disposed of, sold, or destroyed. Jim was the liaison between NAVSEA and PSNS for demilitarization for the recycle of all classes of nuclear submarines and nuclear cruisers. Jim continued these duties in addition to those of the power generation and distribution duties of active Navy vessels, until his retirement in Jan 1997.
NAVSEA requested that Jim continue to support the demilitarization for the recycle of nuclear submarines at PSNS as a part time consultant. Jim served in this capacity for nine years, until the recycle program funding was severely cut back in 2006. The demilitarization documents compiled by Jim were not only used by PSNS for the recycle projects, but were also used for the demilitarization of equipment and material removed from active Navy vessels that were being overhauled in the shipyard. The documents are basically still being used to this day by the shipyard.
Jim loved fishing and crabbing, especially when he was in the beloved 16’ C Dory. He loved to golf, particularly in the PSNS Design league, which he played in for about 30 years, and with the group of really good friends he normally played with. Jim played as often as he could until he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in his right lung in October 2017. Jim also liked to grow plants, especially his 25+ Bonsai trees.
Jim was an outgoing person who dearly loved his families and friends. He had a great sense of humor and he was very giving with anything that was his.
Jim will be missed greatly by his friends and families. Please don’t mourn too long. Remember all the good times you shared with Jim.
A Celebration of life will be held on August 24th, 2019 at 12:00 pm at American Legion #149 at 4922 Kitsap Way, Bremerton, Washington.