James Edward Loso

James Edward Loso

James Edward Loso

James Edward Loso, age 75, retired Captain of the Seattle Fire Department, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on Sunday, March 13, 2016, in Kirkland, WA after an unexpected, brief illness.

Jim, the eldest of five children, was born to Charles and Georgia Loso on October 11, 1940, in Galesburg, IL. He lived primarily in the Galesburg/Knoxville area, until moving to Orion, IL where he attended Orion High School and met the love of his life, Karen McNeil. The couple married in 1957, and began their life together in Orion, where Jim worked as an auto mechanic. Always looking for better opportunities, Jim held a variety of jobs; including bowling alley pin setter, farm hand, pinball & jukebox repair, gas station attendant, factory worker, as well as auto-body and repair. In 1964, a friend called and said there was work in Seattle with good pay. So, Jim and his family loaded up a little U Haul trailer and pulled it with their Edsel to Seattle. Jim then found a good paying job at Westside Ford as an auto mechanic, where he spent four years.

It was at that time he decided to try out for the Seattle Fire Department. Jim passed all of his entry tests with “flying colors” and graduated number one in his class, entering the Seattle Fire Department on April 1, 1968. Jim was very well liked and highly respected by his fellow firefighters as he worked his way up through the ranks from firefighter to Lieutenant to Captain. He often acted as an Operations’ Division Battalion Chief. Following an on-duty back injury, he worked at headquarters in charge of the Services Division where he directed maintenance as well as specification and procurement of fire apparatus and equipment as well as fire station improvements and numerous responsibilities. One of Jim’s many responsibilities in the fire department was to train other firefighters to drive the fire trucks. When not working at his desk, he traveled back east to inspect and then drive the new fire trucks he’d ordered back to Seattle. Jim retired froJames Losom Ladder 12 in 1995, having served 27 years with the Seattle Fire Department.

During his years at the fire department, Jim maintained a passion for dirt bike riding, both competitive and recreational. Throughout the years, Jim participated in many types of competitions; desert, trials, enduro, and motocross accumulating over 300 awards. He also greatly enjoyed spending time riding with his fellow dirt bike riders in Death Valley and through the red rocks of Moab, Utah, as well as (instigating) many other great & varied adventures with his fellow riders.

Following his retirement, Jim embarked on yet another James and Karenadventure….homebuilding. With the help of numerous family and friends, Jim created the beautiful home both he and Karen had dreamed of on the banks of the Yakima River in Cle Elum, where they built many wonderful memories with family and friends.

Jim will be remembered for his quick wit & sense of humor, his passion for adventure and his vast knowledge. Jim was a true warrior who battled the odds and always lived his life to the fullest. His caring and compassionate personality drew others to him.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Charles & Georgia Loso, a son, Derik Loso & 2 sisters, Gloria Anderson & Connie Loso. He leaves behind his wife of 58 years, Karen of Cle Elum, 2 sons, Kevin (Sheryl) Loso, of Snohomish and Matthew (Kim) Loso of Kirkland, a brother, Ray Loso of Arlington & a sister, Bonnie (Ed) Wilson of New York. Jim is also survived by his 5 grandchildren, Jamie (Loso) Jamerson & Brian Loso; Dustin Loso; Matteo & Kate Loso; 2 great granddaughters, Isla & Parker Jamerson, as well as sisters-in-law & brothers-in-law, Mary Loso; Pat Trego; Sandy & Darrell Taets; Mike & Denise McNeil and Dee & Dan Sullivan, as well as numerous nieces & nephews.

Jim, I will love you for the rest of my life. May the sage scented desert breeze be at your back, and the forest trails open up for you on your way to heaven.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2016, at 11:00 A.M. at Columbia Winery, 14030 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville, WA 98072. Donations may be made to Northwest Motorcycle Association, P.O. Box 1108, Monroe, WA. 98272 or go to nmaoffroad.org.

23 Responses to “James Edward Loso”

  • Betty Casebeer says:

    My entire families lives were blessed and enriched by the friendship of this dear man and neighbor! We came to know Jim and Karen and sons as we lived close to them in the Briarwood South area in Renton. My guys looked up to Jim and his expertise and knowledge of the motorcycles and loved it when they had an opportunity to ride with him on any level. When we lost our oldest son, it was Jim who rode with two of my guys with Fred`s ashes to a scenic lookout spot where they deposited his ashes. So, Fred had his last ride with Jim Loso. That meant a lot to us as Fred`s family.
    Jim was one of the kindest, most caring men that I believe I knew. He always seemed to care about what was going on in our family. He was a GIANT of a man and we will always remember him and strive to be like him. Greet my dear husband Ray and my son Fred and our granddaughter Stephanie in heaven. We love you Jim Loso!
    the Ray Casebeer family, Betty, Kurt, Tom and Jeff Casebeer and Ryan Schrag.

  • Beth says:

    Oh Karen, what a beautiful tribute to Jim. He was such an amazing guy. You two had such a great partnership. Only wish we were nearer to each other making it easier to continue our lifelong friendship. Please know my thoughts and prayers have been with you and your family.

  • Elizabeth Smith Taylor says:

    My deepest sympathy to you, Karen, and your family. You loved him long and well. May your memories sustain you in the time ahead.

  • Sheryl Loso says:

    This is a beautiful tribute. It’s so special. Jim we miss you.
    Rest in peace.

  • Ruthie Mickelson says:

    My condolences and love to you all! Jim was quite a guy and I know he was loved by you all. To Karen, especially, remember the good times but also look ahead. So glad the family could gather and see him before he passed.
    Cousin Ruthie

  • Mitch Halgren says:

    You gave us all so very much to remember you by, Jim. You spoon fed me in ways I can’t begin to count. I was blessed to travel “in your dust” along with many others so many, many, times and all of those have significant humor. You made the time to teach us while we thought we were goofing off. You showed us that when a ride or an event wasn’t going “as planned” the adventure was greater…and you made us all greater in the process. You have once again, left us in your dust – I will never forget your presence in my life. Godspeed my dear friend and fearless leader, until we ride again….

  • Ross Green says:

    I was lucky enough to have known Jim for about 45 years. He was one of the smartest, most patient men I’ve ever known. I say patient because as smart and mechanically gifted as he was – well, I wasn’t! He would take the time to work on my bikes, or give me riding tips, and as unbelievably talented as he was, he never once spoke down to me or made me feel inferior in any way!

    Jim was my best friends dad, and that is how our relationship started, but through the years, Jim became not only my mentor, but also a good friend. He was so much fun to sit and talk with because he was so knowledgeable about everything, and just plain interesting to share time with.

    These last couple of years Jim had some vision problems that would have put most people on the sidelines, but he didn’t go to the sidelines, and he NEVER complained – I truly admired his strength and will power to just “keep going”. He continued competing in motorcycle events, and it was obvious that he enjoyed being out there with all of us.

    I will miss him a great deal.

  • Debbie and Steve Heindl says:

    Our condolences to you and your family. May he rest in joy and fun and adventure.

  • Bill Hall says:

    Dear Karen and Family:
    I was so sad to hear of your loss when I found out that Jim had passed. As you already know he was a great, great man. I met Jim in 1986 when he asked me to drive a brand new fire engine from the factory back to Seattle. He was a respected fire officer and a born leader. His mechanical aptitude and problem solving abilities were skills that made him an excellent firefighter. I will always be grateful for his generous help in teaching me how to both ride a motorcycle (“Pick a line a commit” is one of his nuggets of wisdom that has helped me both on and off the bike), and to work on the bike as well. (The 1-800-Jim-Loso technical support line was always available when I needed help wrenching). I always had fun on our rides up on the local ridges, as well as a few epic rides in Moab, and the LA to LV dual sports.
    The firefighters who worked with and for Jim were still sharing positive recollections of him around the beanery table 20 years after he retired. His DNA continues to live on in the firefighters who learned the ropes from him. His example of giving, patience, humor, and excellence are things that I will always remember.
    My thoughts are with you all.

  • Doug & Cheryl Berger says:

    Cheryl and I have only known Jim and Karen for a little over 5 years as part time neighbors on the Yakima River. Jim could always be counted on to keep on eye out for everyone on Leisure Land Lane as he moved about in his second favorite mode of transportation, his golf cart. Of course his favorite mode of transportation was his motorcycle. His passion and patience was contagious, making him a great instructor for our new summertime dirt bike trailing riding activities. It’s never to old to ride! It was easy to see that Jim had a soft spot for Karen. When he found out we lived in Poulsbo, he tipped us off that Karen especially liked Poulsbo Bread, which could only be found at Sluys Bakery in downtown Poulsbo and could we get her some. A thoughtful caring and generous man. We are so glad we had the opportunity to know Jim.

    Karen, we offer our condolences and will miss riding with Jim …leading the way!

    Doug and Cheryl

  • Bonnie Block-Lee says:

    Karen and family…I was so sad when Rod told me of Jim’s illness and death. I believe he’s with Jesus riding dirt bikes in heaven. May the Lord bless and keep you at this most difficult time.

  • Dave and Sue DeDecker says:

    Dear Karen, What a wonderful man Jim was. It sounds like he lived his life to the fullest. You guys were always kind of glorified by us younger kids. Whispered about “oh wow they ran off and got married, lucky them!!!” “Well, it will never last, they’re to young!!!!! Only 58 years!!!! You guys are awesome…Jim will be missed by all who knew him. Hugs and Prayers Sue and Dave

  • Mark and Paulette Prather says:

    Come To Me

    God Saw you were getting tired, And a cure was not to be.

    So he put his arms around you, and whispered, “Come To Me.”

    With tearful eyes we watched you, And saw you pass away.

    Although we loved you dearly, We could not make you stay.

    A golden heart stopped beating, Hard working hands at rest.

    God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best.

  • Paulette Prather says:

    I am the proud wife of Lt. Mark Prather of the Seattle Fire Department. Throughout our 18 years together, there is a man whose name I heard over and over again for many different reasons, Jim Loso. When Jim’s name comes up the following traits are always conveyed: love, respect, fun, wise, humble, adventurer, leader, caring, giving, teacher and how he has changed the course of many different lives. He was Mark’s friend, uncle, father figure and teacher.

    There have been many tears along with great laughter in our home in remembrance of Jim. So many current and retired fireman and friends that care about Jim have been calling to find out what they could do, how in any way they could help. These calls come early in the morning till late at night, so many people that want to do whatever they can to help in the celebration of Jim’s life. I have had the privilege to hear many wonderful stories and witness the heartfelt loss by these men of a truly wonderful friend and mentor. What a wonderful testament to the legacy of Jim Loso.

  • Willy Brown, z59, CZ's says:

    Man I sure do miss him. We were going to ride Moab Utah but it never happened.
    My condolences to the family. I hope to see you at the AHMRA raced.
    Thanks for the friendship Jim…
    CZ Willy, z59

  • Rod Bower says:

    Karen, what a wonderful tribute to Jim. I have known Jim since early 1969, when I started riding motorcycles with him. I can’t even imagine how many thousands of miles I have followed him around on dirt bikes, and how many times, like many others, I heard him say, “the trail didn’t look this bad last time I was here”. I worked with Jim throughout his entire career in the Fire Department. Jim was an excellent Firefighter and Fire Officer, one who could always be counted on to make the correct decision and get any job done. Jim was very kind and considerate and always willing to help anyone out. Jim, I will miss you very much, but you will never be forgotten.

  • Pat Trego says:

    Jim lived life with gusto. He loved adventure and he enjoyed it so much more if he could share it with friends or family. I remember playing “Crack-the-Whip” on ice skates with Karen and Jim when we were teen-agers. It was with Karen and Jim that I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time. We skied together in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. We tubed the Yakima River. Jim took us by snowmobile to Lion’s Head Rock and he guided us on our snowmobiles past the wild Bison in our path in Yellowstone Park. These were adventures that Jim had planned so that our time together would be exciting and memorable. And we will remember them well. We will reminisce together and share the fun and funny things that were said and done….together. Because Jim made it happen. We will never forget. Thanks, Jim. We owe you.

  • Alfreda Carlson Rulis says:

    As a cousin, we grew up together. Jim was the big brother I never had. He was always there to encourage us, lead us into mischief, but also to watch out for us and be sure we didn’t really hurt ourselves. I remember chasing feral cats in the barn and eating warm tomatoes on the back porch at our grandparents’ farm. I remember one Halloween when he carried me on his back to Trick or Treat when my feet got cold in an early Illinois snowstorm. As we got older and each got busy with our lives and families, we moved to different ends of the country but I could always count on an e-mail from Jim asking if we were ok when we had a big snow storm or a hurricane coming up the coast. Jim’s passing is a loss in my life. I will miss him. Alfie

  • Dan and Kathy Sjolseth says:

    Karen, Kathy and I first met you and Jim in 2007 during our visits to our lot down from your on the Yakima River. We will never forget your hospitality in helping us with our permitting issues and opening up your facilities to use while camping. We so much enjoyed talking with Jim about his career, your trips to Palm Springs, his motor cycling and so much else. Jim was the consummate gentleman and one we will always consider a friend and will forever miss.

  • CarolSue Carlson-Jones says:

    Jim was my “big” cousin who never made me feel “small”. Although we lived far apart as adults we had many childhood memories to keep us in each others thoughts. I especially recall what a wonderful caring nephew Jim was to his Aunt Nellie, my mother. I am saddened by his loss and will miss him. My condolences to all.

  • Connie Schuhart McGlothern says:

    I will always remember Jim with much admiration and love. He was always a happy, fun man with grand skills and a great laugh. I have many memories, all good. I especially remember a time he so gently drilled a hole in my fingernail to relieve the pressure with his “pocket knife” while we were all on a motorcycle/camping trip after I had squeezed it to oblivion in a camping chair. He was always the one to step up to the situation and do his best for you.

    Karen, I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I know your marriage was one for the books as the best of the best. I love you still as I always will. May peace be with you. Connie

  • Ishil and Tim Ellis says:

    A legend of a man we were fortunate to cross paths with though for not long enough time. RIP Jim, our beloved friend. We miss you and we will continue to love you deep in our hearts. We’ll carry the flag you passed on to us by paying forward and taking every opportunity to be there for another like you did so gracefully and with no effort for everybody. You were indeed one of a kind, sir. We are much better human beings because we had the fortune of knowing you and loving you, and felt that we were deeply loved by you. Thank you for all the great memories, the gift of your beautiful heart and your boundless wisdom you shared with us. You will never be forgotten…

  • Marcus Erickson says:

    I never met Jim but in his death he generously asked that donations be made in his name to a motorcycle interest group I volunteer with.

    This led me to visit this site and learn more about Jim.

    Jim had many people who loved him and based on their testimony, I believe he embodied the greatness of America. He was a self sufficient man, generous with his gifts and loved the adventurous life.

    I wish we could have ridden together good sir.

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