James Alexander Latshaw, 82, died peacefully on Saturday, May 5, at his home in Lynnwood, Washington. Jim was born on Orcas Island in 1936 and was the last of seven children born to the late Esther and Alex Latshaw. Jim was preceded in death by his six siblings, Robert Latshaw, Ileen Allison, Eula LaPorte, Juanita Haddon, Lois Shaepe and Elsie Kelton.
After high school, Jim joined the United States Air Force and was stationed in Alaska, where he had trained as a mechanic on aircraft. The military experience sparked his interest in flying, and he later became a pilot and enjoyed flying in the San Juan Islands. In the 1970s, Jim worked on Orcas Island running a drill rig and managing Brown Well Drilling.
Music was a big part of his life, and his self-taught guitar skills were widely known and appreciated. Whether at home with family or at local establishments in the islands, people would gather to hear him play, often with his friend Gary Plummer. He tried to emulate his favorite entertainer, Chet Atkins, another self-taught musician.
After moving to Lynnwood, Jim became captain of a large Seattle-based commercial fishing boat and spent many fishing seasons in Alaska with his crew.
In retirement, he became a wizard with computers and could repair down to the motherboard all types of computers for his relatives and friends. He had many interests which he enjoyed that included music, his love of Orcas Island, motorcycles, flying, computers and Alaska. He loved learning new skills and always challenging his brain.
Most important to him was his family, and the pride in his voice was evident when talking about his three sons and their families.
Jim is survived by his loving wife Sharon; son Gregory Latshaw (Melody) of Lynnwood; son Gerald Latshaw (Kristi) of Bellingham; and son John Latshaw (Trina) of Ridgefield. Jim also loved his five beautiful granddaughters: Alexis, Mariel, Aimee, Hawlee and Jordan, and is survived by many nieces and nephews. A celebration of a life lived fully will be held noon–4 p.m. on Sunday, June 3, at the family home in Lynnwood, Washington.