Residence: Olga, WA
Deceased: January 10, 2013
Whether eager to escape another Northfield winter or ready to switch tracks, Jim left Carleton and his pre-med courses in December, 1963, and headed to California where he completed a degree in sculpture and design at the University of California at Berkeley.
In the 1970s he moved to rural Mendocino County, built a house, and lived completely off the grid for fifteen years. While in Mendocino, he taught young children in the Waldorf tradition.
Following a solo bike trip from California’s Bay Area to Washington State in the early 1990s, Jim moved to Seattle. Five years later he moved to Orcas Island where he lived until his death from a cardiac event in early 2013.
A highly skilled carpenter and landscape gardener, Jim worked in those trades in both California and Washington. During his time in Seattle, Jim became a licensed Hellerwork practitioner (a form of deep tissue massage); on Orcas Island, he worked as a practitioner at the Healing Arts Center.
Jim’s interests were many and varied. Early study of drama, dance and music led to contra folk dancing and swing dancing in later years. Throughout his life, Jim pursued an interest in spirituality, including the study of Early Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Kabbalah and Sufi traditions, and well-known mystics of our time.
In Seattle he was an active member of the Uniao do Vegetal, a Brazilian study group based on the legal use of the herb ayahuasca to enhance spiritual evolution and the search for self-knowledge. Active in the Olga, Washington, community on Orcas Island, Jim spearheaded the development of the Olga Hamlet Plan, served as president of the Olga Water Users Association and was a dedicated member of the Oddfellows Lodge where he constructed the deck and doors of the Oddfellows Hall.
According to Jim’s obituary in Orcas Issues, “Jim was known for his warm smile and sunny disposition; in fact when he was a child, he was given the nickname ‘Sunny Jim.’ He was quick to engage in all manner of conversation, often bringing his considerable knowledge of astrology, the mystical tarot and a Sufi-based system of personality typing called the Enneagram.” Jim is survived by his daughter and grand-daughter, as well as three former spouses and two step-sons.