James “Jim” Palmer Newberry passed away peacefully in his sleep on Oct. 20, 2018 at the age of 79 from the effects of a lengthy illness. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on Dec. 14, 1938 to Horace E. Newberry and Emily Marie Willard.
Jim spent the majority of his childhood in Bellingham, Wash.. He attended and graduated from Bellingham High School in 1956 and Western Washington University in 1962 with bachelor of arts in education.
While Jim was a senior in high school, he met a classmate, Dorothy “Dot” Sybrant, and, after four years, they were married in 1960. With an eternal bond, they were still best of friends 58 and a half years later. Their children include Gregory James, Krista Jene, Bruce Alan and Karl Howard.
In 1962, Jim accepted a teaching position in Oak Harbor.
Over his 36 years of teaching, he taught fourth grade, sixth grade in elementary and middle schools, math, PE, and more. He enjoyed his time at OHE, CVE, OHMS, and NWNS. He was also instrumental in establishing the outdoor education program that featured week-long classes held at the Camp Moran Environmental Learning Center on Orcas Island.
Over two decades of students and parent leaders alike remember with fondness orienteering, fishing, shelter building, plant studies, adventures on the lake, campfires, and Jim’s lively spirit. As an avid skier, he also helped coordinate the Oak Harbor School District Ski School program.
Over the years, Jim had several loves besides his family. He was a devoted fisherman, and he could often be found crabbing, gardening and hiking. He also enjoyed house building, woodworking and pottery. And attending grand children’s activities and sports brought him joy. He and Dot treasured traveling and exploring, particularly the Smithsonian museums, Alaska and family camping adventures.
Jim was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, holding various leadership and teaching positions, including 14 years as a high school seminary teacher.
He is survived by his wife Dot; daughter Krista; sons Greg (Julie), Bruce and Karl (Debbie); brother Mark A. (Alice); granddaughters Chelsea Jene, Alesha Raquel, Madison Nicole; and grandsons Kellan James, Tyler Palmer and Nicholas Edward. He was preceded in death by grandson Paden Clair.
The family invites you to join them in a celebration of Jim’s life at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 201 N.E. O’Leary St., Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Arrangements were entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home. To leave condolences or share memories, please visit the funeral home website at www.wallinfuneralhome.com. Remembrances can be made to Oak Harbor Education Foundation at P.O. Box 1801, Oak Harbor, WA 98277.