James Joseph Horrigan

March 4, 1924 – September 12, 2020


Image of James Joseph Horrigan

James Joseph Horrigan

Jim was born in Pasco, WA to Joe and Anna Horrigan. When he was a young boy the family moved to the Seattle/Everett area. At the age of 17 he and his best friend Phil volunteered for what they imagined would be yet another wild adventure experiencing the world together in the Army Air Corps. Jim was a radio operator on a C-47 until the end of the war. He did indeed travel the globe only to find his way back home where he spent the remainder of his full life. After the war he worked for the family businesses managing Horrigan’s Market at Boren and Pike in Seattle, building homes, and developing land in Kenmore. In 1960 he joined the commercial real estate division of Henry Broderick at 2nd and Cherry in downtown Seattle. He remained in commercial real estate until his retirement in 1985 as the Vice President and Regional Manager of Commercial Property Management with Coldwell Banker.

Jim and Helen

In 1957 Jim met the love of his life on a blind date; he and Helen were married in the summer of 1962. Their 58-year marriage was a life-long love affair as best friends and companions. They were well-known for their hand holding, stolen kisses, and taking a spin around the dance floor (with Jim in his socks of course). He loved to cook and was famous for his barbequing expertise; a skill he passed down to a few of his grandchildren who are equally superb grillers. The family says thank you! Jim never met a story he didn’t enjoy telling. He was a consummate communicator; always ready with advice, direction, remembrances, and laughter. Jim and Helen’s home was a gathering place where they enjoyed hosting parties for family, friends, and colleagues. He produced a big smile for anyone walking into a room; you felt instantly welcomed. Despite being a fair skinned freckled redhead, ‘Uncle Socks’ loved spending time in the sun. After retirement Jim and Helen spent their winters in Hawaii, Arizona, and Palm Desert. Summers were spent tending to their large vegetable and flower gardens, boating the waters of Puget Sound with friends or at their family beach cabin along Colvos Passage with their daughters and grandchildren. It was at the beach cabin where the bonds of family were nurtured and grew strong, projects were planned, life lessons were learned, and many stories were told around the dinner table. Jim was a steadfast husband, father, grandfather and friend. Family was first and foremost in his life but his thoughtfulness, generosity, and care-taking were felt by all who knew him.

A glass of wine with his beautiful wife, a dog to pet, a cat to fuss over, fresh seafood, late nights with his favorite publication, riding the train, barbecuing ribs, catching fish, pu-pu’s with his little sister, a round of golf, sleeping late, a cold beer on a hot afternoon, and a day in the sun without a cloud in the sky…these were but a few of his favorite things.

Jim and Helen spent 54 glorious years in their home on Mercer Island where every family gathering was held; terrific memories were made there with their daughters and grandchildren. Jim spent the last 3 years living at Covenant Shores memory care residence on Mercer Island where he enjoyed socializing every day with the residents and staff. He was blessed to have such a wonderful home in his last years that was filled with compassion and care for his needs.

Jim is survived by his wife Helen Elizabeth (Milne) of 58 years; sister Joanne Galvin of Palm Desert, CA; 2 daughters Glenna Diefendorf (David), Kathleen Marth (John); 7 grandchildren Anna Diaz, Patrick Diefendorf (Linda), Jocelyn Bowen (Tyler), Joseph Diefendorf (Kristin), Shannon Marth, James Marth (Tess), Daniel Marth; 11 great grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Jim was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Anna (Shannon) Horrigan, and 2 sisters Katherine Horrigan and Isabelle Eichner. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim’s honor to the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation (smafoundation.org) or to a charity of your choosing

5 Responses to “James Joseph Horrigan”

  • Joanne B. Eichner says:

    He always had a smile for all of us. We were welcome to the wonderful house on Mercer Is. So many good memories.

  • karen a hatch says:

    May you rest in peace, Uncle Jim.

    You brought so much laughter and joy to family get togethers. I am so glad you and Helen made it to Jason
    & Hannah’s wedding. It was a great time and it was so great to have you there with your smiling face. Thank you too, Helen for all you did for the family through the years. Holidays, etc, Karen

  • Janet Lundy says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. He was a good friend of my late husband,Ray. Jim always had a smile on his face.
    Blessings to you and your family.

  • Rebecca Strand says:

    You were an inspiration to me in my early years at Coldwell Banker! I even helped coordinate a party for you in the downtown office. You were flying back and forth from Seattle to California for a time, I remember.

    What a coincidence that I was at Covenant Shores medical facility in December recovering from back surgery. Great place to be and I could even go to church!

    Everyone I know back in the day thought you were a great boss! I went on to get my CPM under Tim Burleigh and miss those days for sure. Prayers to your family as you look down on us from God’s heaven.

  • Vicki Blades says:

    I am saddened by the passing of Uncle Jim, and will forever remember him for being a gracious host, a wonderful storyteller, and having a never ending smile. My heart goes out to Aunt Helen, and Glenna and Kathleen and their families. Forever in my heart.

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