Jim was the kind of guy who often said, “I had everything I ever wanted.”
Jim was born in an apple shack in Omak, WA on April 24, 1937. He was the first son of Alfred M. and Mary E. Link. He had an older sister Marilyn (Clinton) Anderson, who died, and leaves a younger brother David (Donna) Link of Helena, MT. He died at home with his family by his side on August 28.
Jim is survived by his wife of 63 years Mary L. (Walisch) Link, his daughter Terri A. Link, his son Allen R. Link (Leesa), his daughter Laura J. Marchand (Mitch), and predeceased by his son Steven R. Link. He was also fortunate to be the father of 8 grandchildren: Audrey (Andrew) Stout,
Joshua (Aileen) Link, Kasey James, Miranda (Sean) Stille, Karrah (Kurt) Nygard, Austin Romerein, Zachary Link, Jacob Link, as well as 11 great-grandchildren: Lexi, Peyton, Kali, Belle, Kash, Abby , Dax, Isla, Austin, Megan and Jordan. He will be fondly remembered for his relentless supply of M&M’s, his ice cream time, his apple tree, his pontoon boat rides, his daddy jokes, his toad in the holes, his daddy juice, the dirt pile, his soda in the garage. , and its assortment of stray cats, to name a few.
Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Elmer City, WA. He went to Coulee Dam School and graduated in the class of 55. Jim was a proud “beaver”. He liked to tell people that he went to a school in Dam in a town in Dam. Friendships with his classmates lasted his life, and he enjoyed his role as the class’s social organizer for meetings, monthly lunches, and keeping track of everyone.
After graduation, Jim and his buddies spent time as apple thinners in Mr. Morgan’s orchard and were known for composing the “world famous” apple thinner song. (Don’t ask, you really don’t want to know). But that job didn’t provide enough money for gas for his car, so he volunteered for the draft and served in the military (not a big money-maker either). Jim then began a 35-year career as a telephone lineman with Pacific Northwest Bell and finished as an instructor at the Seattle Training Center for Qwest. He enjoyed meeting other retirees for monthly breakfasts at Bob’s Café. Jim served several terms as president of the local chapter of the company’s service organization, Pioneers of America, and for a few years was president of the Telephone Workers of America Union.
But above all, he loved to fly. Using his VA benefits, he took lessons and proudly built the first airplane he flew. Over the years he has had the pleasure of flying his friends and family all over the Columbia Basin. His favorite trips were to fly over Steamboat Rock and then down the Columbia River for a bird’s eye view of Grand Coulee Dam. When he could no longer fly, he proudly entrusted “his wings” to his son and his grandson. He was instrumental in organizing the local Experimental Aircraft Association, Chapter 355, and served as its president for many years.
A celebration of life will be held at Moses Lake Presbyterian Church, 1142 West Ivy Avenue at 1 p.m. on August 19. Jim’s favorite dessert will be served after the celebration.
Please consider making a donation in Jim’s name to the Young Eagles, EAA, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086.