James Sherman Waldrip Jr., 96, passed away surrounded by his family on March 31, 2018, at Careage of Whidbey in Coupeville.
He has lived in Coupeville since 1959 and is survived by his wife, Esther Ione (LaBrant) Waldrip, of 68 years and six months; daughter Sara L. Burns and son Peter R. Waldrip; daughter-in-law Susan M. Waldrip; and eight grandchildren: Stacey, Jonathon, Matthew (wife Grace) and Martin Waldrip; Dan, Cory (wife Giovanna) and Caitlin Burns; and Rose Harris. He also had four great-grandchildren: Mason, Kevin and June Burns and Kennedy Harris.
James was born in Olympia on Dec. 13, 1921, to James Sherman and Bertha (Hansen) Waldrip. He grew up in the Shelton area fishing, hunting and hiking in the Olympics. He graduated from Shelton High School in 1940 and attended St. Martin’s College in Olympia for a year.
He enlisted in the Navy, serving from 1942-1946. He worked as an oysterman, tugboat operator, and logging truck driver, before reenlisting in 1950, serving through 1966. He married Esther Ione (LaBrant) on Sept. 23, 1949, and moved to Hawaii where Sara was born in 1951. Peter was born in California in 1953.
James led his family around the United States through his work in the electronics rating of the Navy, living in California, Tennessee, Florida, Connecticut and Washington.
He held memberships in the Fleet Reserve Association, NRA, AARP, Whidby #15 F&AM, Apache #69, F&M, Mesa, Ariz. and was a 50-year Mason, holding several degrees and offices.
He and his family enjoyed camping, boating and hunting. For many years he and his wife traveled to Arizona for the winter months. James reloaded ammunition, was a wood carver and was an experienced boater.
He was a kind, generous man with a contagious laugh, and he enjoyed a good joke — his presence in ours lives will be missed beyond measure.
Services will be announced later. Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.whidbey memorial.com