James A. Hartley passed away Sept. 10 at his home on Whidbey Island. Jim was born June 30, 1932, in Chicago to Julius (Bill) and Louise Hartley. He and his younger sister Sally were raised in Wilmette, Ill., and Jim graduated from New Trier High School. Growing up outside of Chicago, he frequently spent weekends at Wrigley Field, sitting through batting practice and a Cubs doubleheader.
Jim attended Grinnell College and studied journalism. At Grinnell, he met his partner in life, Louise Johnson, and they married one week after his graduation in 1954.
Jim served in the Air Force for two years in Great Falls, Mont. Jim and Lou then made their way to Shelton, Wash., where he joined Simpson Timber Company. Jim’s 35-year career in public relations with Simpson included acting as editor for the Simpson Diamond and, in later years, lobbying in Olympia. His tenure with the company was a testament to the many wonderful people he worked with.
Jim embraced the Northwest lifestyle, barbecuing salmon (rain or shine), hiking, boating in the San Juan Islands, bird hunting with his Labrador retrievers and rooting for the Mariners (although feeling vindicated as a lifelong Cubs fan when they won the World Series in 2016).
In addition to raising their four children, Jim and Lou shared a love of golf, bridge, traveling, biking and other outdoor adventures. They also made annual visits to Kauai, a place dear to their hearts. In his rare quiet time, Jim enjoyed reading, including working his way through biographies on all the presidents.
After retirement, Jim and Lou moved to Whidbey Island. Jim found great satisfaction volunteering at Good Cheer where he served on the board and as president. He and Lou also enjoyed the many friends they made as members of Useless Bay Country Club.
Jim will be remembered for his smile, love of family, wit and bad puns, and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
In addition to Lou, his wife of 64 years, Jim is survived by his four children: Carla Hartley, Andy Hartley, Ned Hartley and Alison Nissing; his sister Sally Palmer; his four grandchildren: Amanda Nissing, Callie Nissing, Drew Hartley and Reid Hartley; and his Lab, Katy.
A celebration of Jim’s life will be held Saturday, Oct. 13, at 1 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland.