James Lee Harvey


image of James Lee Harvey

Jim Harvey, summer 2014

James Lee Harvey passed away peacefully on April 19, 2022, at the age of 94, in Bellevue, Washington, with family by his side.

Jim was born in Portland, Oregon on July 27, 1927.  At the age of two, his family moved to the small company logging town of Kinzua, Oregon.  He had a wonderful childhood and loved playing with his siblings and friends in the 30-mile “crik” and in the forests surrounding his home.  In 1943, the family moved to Clarkston, Washington, where Jim got his first job as a paper delivery boy with the Lewiston Tribune.  At Clarkston High School, he took great pride in his grades and in his efforts as a lightweight boxer. After graduating in 1945, he immediately enlisted in the Navy to serve his country during the final months of WWII.  When he joined the service, he was a 17-year-old, 5’- 6” skinny boy; when he returned home in 1948, he was a 5’-10” full-grown man.

Jim Harvey, 50s

After Jim left the Navy, he continued his education at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, where he met and married his first wife, Dorothy.  Jim started working at the Hanford Site in 1951, the beginning of a 50+year career in the nuclear waste and energy business.  He had a very long and respected career, including working for Scientific Ecology Group in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and serving as Executive Vice President of Southwest Nuclear Company in Pleasanton, California.  He had many wonderful colleagues over the years who kept him engaged and learning…he liked work and people so much that he didn’t retire until he was 77!

Jim Harvey,60s

Jim married his second wife, Vicki, in 1979, and they had many happy years together until her death in 2013.  They loved to travel, taking several road trips across the United States and Canada, visiting family members, civil war battle sites, historical monuments, and places of interest.  Jim loved fun facts – on several road trips, he would quiz his daughter Brandi on all the state capitals.  Whenever anyone mentioned Jim, they used the words “sweet and wonderful man,” “loving dad,” and “proud Papa/Grampi/Great-Grampi.”  He had a kindness that came through in everything he did, with a fierce and unconditional love for family and friends.

Jim had seven children from his first marriage and four stepchildren from his second marriage, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  He was always happy to see them, share a meal or chat on the phone and had a tremendous love for each and every one of them.  Another of his great joys in life was eating good food, often mixing sweet treats with savory snacks – he was known for the imaginative combination of headcheese and Oreos.  In fact, he wouldn’t turn down any kind of food….mincemeat pie, horehound candy, licorice ice cream and anything with gravy or butter were some of his favorites.  He loved to share stories with others, reminiscing about days-gone-by and anything related to his family, U.S. history, the Seattle Mariners, Seahawks or Sounders, and nuclear waste disposal or Hanford.  He was fascinated with random facts – especially historical trivia –  and read all types of books.  He would pour over the daily newspaper, the World Almanac, encyclopedias, and National Geographic and would turn to these any time he needed a handy reference for interesting questions on his mind.  He never met a stranger and was beloved by staff and residents at Evergreen Court, his home for the past eight years.

Jim was preceded in death by his wives, daughters, Shannon and Sharon, his sister, Betty, and brothers, Harry/Lud and Bud.  He leaves behind many family members, including his sister, Della, who will hold him near and dear in their hearts.  A special thanks to his stepdaughters Annette and Brandi, who provided exemplary support to him and helped him age gracefully in his home.

As one interested in learning until the very end, Jim intended to have his body donated to the University of Washington for scientific research.  In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Seattle Humane Society at https://www.seattlehumane.org/.


5 Responses to “James Lee Harvey”

  • Jody Thompson says:

    Annette, Paula, Brandi, what a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. He was a sweetheart. Condolences to all family and friends.

  • Jody Thompson says:

    What a beautiful tribute for a wonderful man. Condolences to the family

  • Sandra Pittman says:

    Beautiful tribute. Our lives were richer just being his friend. God Bless all of you.

  • Lynne Smith says:

    Thank you for sharing this lovely tribute. Condolences to the entire family. I hope these happy memories are a source of comfort in the days ahead.

  • Sue Broadhurst says:

    What a gorgeous tribute to a stellar person!

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