A fond and loving farewell to Jim, who died at age 71 at his new home in Coupeville, Wash., The Homestead.
A sudden, quick cardiac crisis, in an otherwise routine day of contented walks and lunch with friends at home, was Jim’s gentle goodbye.
Thirty years in Oak Harbor, Wash., and Coupeville made Jim a local character and a community treasure. He never missed preparing for and joining in with everybody enjoying community fairs, celebrations, races, shows, parades, civic, church, military and health care happenings.
He’ll be remembered for riding his bike in holiday parades in full flamboyant costumes and with colorful bike decor.
Jim made the most of the diminished, yet ever-fabulous, Island County bus service. He was often seen riding, walking and wandering at all hours of day and night.
Jim brought out the best in his community; many a bus driver, shop owner, sports bar patron or employee, police officer, sheriff’s deputy, civil servant, judge and court clerk were Jim’s special friends. He was open-hearted to all, and the community responded with friendship and protection.
Jim helped Habitat for Humanity, local thrift stores and PAWS, and was both athlete and cheerleader at Special Olympics and nighttime high school basketball games.
Bank officers and workers, church and mission members, and even Navy base heroes, watched protectively over Jim.
There wasn’t an organized activity of sharing, caring, providing kindness, concern or service to the needy that didn’t have Jim as a helper or contributor.
Jim will be remembered by his buddies, Lisa Woodward, Eddy Woodward, and a family of many Casebeers. Fanny Dean, of Mission Ministry Outreach, was his counselor, spiritual advisor and family friend for 30 years.
Something of Jim will continue to wander those well-worn pathways in the hearts and minds of many who knew a special love for kind and good-natured Cowboy Jim. May every beautiful sunrise and sunset be for Jimmy, from folks kind and caring, at The Homestead.
Jim’s ashes will be spread over the Puget Sound through The Neptune Society sometime in March. His spirit may ever-after be seen in the morning mist, quietly fishing with his buddy, Ron Kaser. Maybe some will even swear they see him in a white Kia Soul, traveling to Canada, Montana and Wyoming, back down the coast to Las Vegas, Nev., and across to Arizona. He’ll be the co-pilot for a little old lady with bright white hair who looks just like Bev Casebeer.
Happy trails, Cowboy. Friends forever.