James Joseph Sturgul Sr

September 6th, 1938 – April 16th, 2017


James Joseph Sturgul Sr.

James Joseph Sturgul Sr.

James Joseph Sturgul Sr., 78, of Renton, Washington, passed away peacefully in the presence of his family on Easter Sunday, April 16th, 2017 after a long and courageous fight to overcome his health ailments.

James is survived by his devoted wife of 42 years, Amelia; his children, Christopher “Stoph” Sturgul (Brooklyn, NY), Isabelle Casey (Evergreen, CO), Mary Petering (Houston, TX) and James Joseph Sturgul Jr. (Kent, WA); their spouses, Mark Gallagher, Tony Casey, Troy Petering and Tammy Sturgul; four grandchildren, Lucille Astor Sturgul, Roman Arthur Sturgul, Ezekiel James Sturgul, and Pascual Eliseo Casey, as well as his brothers Dr. John Sturgul (Adelaide, Australia), Paul Sturgul (Hurley, WI) and Peter Sturgul (Ironwood, MI).

James, son of the late Roman and Isabelle Sturgul, was born in Bessemer, MI on September 6, 1938 and grew up near the shores of Lake Superior in the small mining town of Hurley, WI. He was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin- Superior, thereafter enlisting in the Army where he served 9 years.

James spent most of his career in the aerospace industry as a buyer and worked for Martin Marietta (Orlando, FL), United Technologies (West Palm Beach, FL) and ultimately retired from the Boeing Company (Everett, WA). Always one to keep busy, James also spent time as a real estate agent during his retirement.
An avid lover of nature and boat racing, James’ passion for hydro runabout boat racing was revived soon after he retired. He proudly named his boat Sugie, (“shoogie”), which was the name he called his number one fan and greatest love, his wife Amelia. His racing travels took him and his family all around the state of Washington, Michigan and Canada where he consistently placed or won and acquired quite the trophy collection. Perhaps the most memorable and proudest race occurring in Lake Lawrence in Yelm, WA where James and his youngest son, James Jr., raced together and placed 2nd and 1st, respectively.

James loved the outdoors and being among nature in all its glory. Come late spring and summer, one could find James diligently working in his vegetable garden. He would boast of how beautiful and fresh everything was or how tall and magnificent his sunflowers were. He loved to feel the warmth of the sun shining on his face and, in his later years, he found solace simply sitting by himself on the porch, eyes closed and smiling.

James had the gentlest of temperaments, sharpest of wits and a “steel trap” memory. He made an art form out of the distinct manner and style of how he would tell stories, jokes and do impersonations. An endearing trademark of his that, without fail, would leave one in tears of laughter.
Above all and most dear to James’ heart was his family; family was everything. Amelia was his best friend and soul mate and his children were, by far, his proudest accomplishments. Through them, he instilled the values of respect, honesty, hard work and charity towards others. A legacy of his that will continue to live on.

A memorial service for James will be held at 5:00pm, Friday, April 21st at St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church, 13055 SE 192nd St., Renton, WA 98058. A celebration of James’ life and burial of his ashes will be held on a later date in Hurley, WI. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Knights of Columbus Charities, One Columbus Plaza, P.O. Box 1966, New Haven CT 06509-1966

9 Responses to “James Joseph Sturgul Sr”

  • "Mary Pie" Petering says:

    Dad, I wasn’t ready to let go, but am accepting that you are in a better place and resting in eternal peace. You were the first man I ever loved and for whom I’m forever grateful for so many things. You will forever live on in our hearts. What I wouldn’t give to hear your voice again and hold your hand. I love you.

  • Jana Swanson Hale says:

    I’m so very sorry to hear about your family’s loss. I haven’t crossed paths with Jim in years, but I can say that I always remember him fondly. I remember his kind smile and gentle tone so clearly, the way that he would humor me as a goofy young girl and teenager. We briefly worked at the same company in the early 2000’s; I remember seeing his name on some paperwork and when I had him on the phone, I asked if he was Mary’s dad. He said yes, and we proceeded to have a great conversation — it was a lovely day! My prayers and sincerest condolences are with your family at this difficult time. Sending all my love and shedding a few of my own tears, too. Love, Jana

  • Jason M. Golladay says:

    I only had the pleasure of Jim’s company on a few occasions, but witnessed the love and decency he instilled in his children. Mary became one of the people I love most in this world when I spent 6 years living and working in Seattle. I remember fondly the only lengthy conversation we had in his back yard. We talked vegetables, Italy and Wisconsin. That short time together made it clear why he and his wife and children are so loved. Jim raised a beautiful family along with his wife. Good people with a strong, loving foundation. Rest In Peace Jim. My love and prayers to all of the family.

  • Ruben says:

    Jim, it was such a pleasure to get to know you and your whole family thanks to my friendship of god-knows -how-many-years with your oldest, and I mean much older than his siblings and myself too, Stoph! Thanks to that, now I get to have the most amazing memories of the holidays that I was so lucky to have been invited to and got to spend with your family and some many of your extended family and friends.
    To say that you guys were the hottest ticket in town is truly an understatement!
    Nobody, nobody did Christmas like you did!
    Christmas at the Sturgul’s was an experience and a joy and huge event and at the same time it was the most heartwarming family dinner I’ve always wish I had growing up.
    You and your lovely and beautiful wife Amelia opened your home to so many people and made all of us feel like part of your family. I remember there was no subject you were not knowledgeable of, so there were too many long interesting conversations to name!
    You will be so missed by some many people of different genders, ages, backgrounds, places of origin and residence, telling of a full, very interesting life well lived where you got to be loved and respected by anyone that met you.
    If I’m lucky and play my cards right, I hope I get to see you again, hope to be a guest to your table again, and the guests, I can only imagine who you’d have over at your table.
    Godspeed Jim, and all the love in the world your family!


  • TERRI JAMES says:

    Dearest Sturgul family,

    May the memories and love that Jim had for all of you continue to embrace you in your daily lives. He lived his life with purpose, courage, optimism, integrity, traits of a great man of virtue. Continue to follow in his footsteps as he has paved the way for you. All my love Terri James and Family

  • Alicia Sanders says:

    I was fortunate to live in the same neighborhood as the Sturguls when I moved to FL. When they moved back to Washington I had the pleasure of visiting Christopher and his family. I will always remember Jim’s enthusiasm for showing me around Seattle – the salmon locks, Puget Sound, Mt Ranier – anything and everything was a teaching moment and I sucked it up. I am sad that I will not have the opportunity for passionate discussion with him, like about his SHO back in the 90s, but I take comfort knowing his soul is at peace. My thoughts are with your family.
    Always, Alicia Sanders

  • Rachel Cox says:

    Mr Sturgul,

    You were always a kind man. You and Mrs Sturgul let us sing and dance in your downstairs. I remember James (jimmy) coming in once wanting to be part of our crew. (I think Mary, Jana and I were in either in Grease or Wayne’s World mode) Mary was my friend, but, all of your children were so sweet and welcoming, I felt like they were our friends too. I will never forget that. Thank you for letting us be a part of you and your family’s life whenever you could. Like Jana said, it’s been a while since we saw you, but, your house was always a special place to be. Feel blessed to have you in my book of
    childhood memories! Thank you again Sir, may you be at peace. What a beautiful life.

  • James Vestal says:

    Jim was an amazing person. I will miss so much about him, his fatherly advice, warm smile and extra loud Tarzan calls. Your home was my second home growing up and youn Amelia always made room for me. Thank you for everything.

  • Alicia Gonzalez says:

    Jim was a kind and gentle person and I was proud to have him as my brothe in law.
    I pray for the healing and comfort of his family and I know he will always look over them. I’ll cherish the memories and will never forget him.

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