James Henry Leeds, of Issaquah, Wash., passed away Sept. 19, 2010.
Jim was born Dec. 4, 1919, in Havre, Mont., the son of Harvey and Hester Leeds. The fourth of eight brothers, he graduated from Havre High School and attended Northern Montana College for two years.
He was awarded a private pilot license in June 1940. He then enlisted in the Navy and after graduating from naval aviation training in Pensacola was assigned to Corpus Christi Naval Air Station as a flight instructor, specializing in primary (Stearman) airplanes.
He later advanced to “flying boats,” PBYs and PBMs. He served as a PBM pilot in the Pacific in 1944, covering the Saipan and Palau Island invasions, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander. He was on his way to Hawaii for his next assignment when the war ended on Aug. 14, 1945.
In 1948, he graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in chemical engineering and married Ann Broderick of Seattle the same year. They had five children.
He was the Grays Harbor Paper Mill superintendent until his retirement in 1985. Jim and Ann moved to Providence Point in 2002 to be closer to family.
He was an intelligent man, who continued to play bridge until his death. Jim could fix or build any project, from roofing his Tudor house with shingles from cedar blocks he split himself to felling a giant cedar tree in his backyard to remodeling his entire basement. He was an active power walker before the jogging craze caught on and loved sharing his philosophy of life with friends and family.
One of his favorite poems was Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” as he had “… promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.”
His seven brothers and his oldest son, James Jr., preceded Jim in death.
He is survived by his Annie; his daughters, Kathleen Daly, Karen Leeds and Carolyn Leeds; his son, Tom Leeds; his sons-in-law, Dan Daly and Dan Owens; and daughter-in-law, Janet Leeds.
He is survived also by grandchildren, Janet (Andrew) Baumann, Karlyn (Chris) Taylor, and Jim Leeds, and Ellen Leeds; and his great-grandson Nolan Taylor.
His family was his greatest joy, and he was devoted to them.
A private memorial service, which includes full military honors, will be held on Sept. 24, at the Tahoma National Cemetery.
The family suggests remembrances to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation, 400 Mercer St. #504, Seattle, WA 98109.
Friends are invited to share memories and sign the family’s on-line guest book at www.flintofts.com.
Arrangements are by Flintoft’s Funeral Home and Crematory.