James Wilson Newland | Passages

March 12, 1929 – January 12, 2018

Jim Newland, age 88, of Eastsound, Washington (Orcas Island), passed away on January 12, 2018 of natural causes in Mount Vernon, Washington with family members by his side.

Jim was born March 12, 1929 in Seattle, the only child of John Wilson Newland and Wilmryth (Mulot) Newland. He was raised in and around Seattle and in 1951, graduated from Seattle University with a degree in Teaching after beginning his studies in Theology. During his junior year at university in 1949, Jim married his love, Phyllis Carr, whom he had dated since their high school years. They were together for the next 39 years until the untimely passing of Phyllis on Orcas Island in 1988.

Jim began his teaching career in Washington near the small town of Monroe where he became the youngest school principal in Washington State. In 1961, he and Phyllis relocated their family to California for a teaching job in Palo Alto. Jim spent the next 20 years as an elementary school teacher (his true professional passion), union representative and union president, and educational and computer researcher at Stanford University. The years in California brought much joy in raising three children; Thomas, Andrew and Kathryn, and years later, time with their first two grandchildren, Jon-Michael and Tommy.

During the years in California, Jim and family had taken up the sport of sailing with many memorable family sailing adventures. Retirement took Jim in another direction, that of builder and craftsman. Jim pursued boat repair work at a local Bay Area boatyard, followed by builder of two small airplanes and craftsman work for a water purification company that eventually employed Jim, Phyllis and son Andrew.

Jim and Phyllis arrived to their new home designed by Jim on Orcas Island in 1987, along with their sailboat. Although Phyllis passed away after only one year on Orcas, the island would remain Jim’s home and final resting place. Jim continued his joy of working with his hands for years on Orcas Island including that second “career” as repairman and craftsman at the historical Rosario Resort on Orcas Island. Today, his prints are scattered throughout the resort including salvage and restoration of the loveseats that greet guests in Rosario’s lobby. For many years, Jim was an active member of EAA flight group and their Young Eagles on Orcas Island. Jim became very engaged in the Emmanuel Episcopal Church and was Usher of the early Sunday service for years. His ashes will rest for all time on the front lawn cross at Emmanuel with those of his wife, Phyllis.

Always with a smile, Jim loved to share stories of his life; early years with Phyllis, high-school track achievements, Navy and Army military service, forest service exploits, correctional facility educator, love of teaching, sailing adventures, joy of seeing his children grow, his many building and craftsman projects, his wonderful written stories of Agnus the elephant, his love for family and for his church, and so much more.

Years after the passing of his wife, Jim was fortunate to meet Beth Roberts on Orcas Island. She became his great friend and devoted companion until his passing. And he became an adored grandfather figure to the many grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Beth. Additionally, Jim loved time together with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, both in California and visits to Orcas Island.

Jim leaves behind children Thomas Newland, Andrew (Kris) Newland, Kathryn Apel; son-in-law John Apel; grandchildren Jon-Michael (Jennifer) Apel, Thomas (Amanda) Apel, Hillary Apel, Andrew Newland, Nicole Newland; great-grandchildren Ainsley Apel, Elodie Apel; nephew Michael Bello; niece Debbie Wells. Additionally, Jim leaves behind his extended Orcas family; devoted companion Beth Roberts; her children Tracy Uptain, Liz Harrison, Mary Lynn (Mike) Behrens, Bill Hamel Jr. (Ellen Fraser); 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Jim also leaves behind longtime friend Mitzi Hayden.

A memorial in honor of Jim will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2018, 12pm at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 242 Main Street, Eastsound, WA 98245. All who knew Jim are invited to attend and join us as we celebrate his life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of James W. Newland to Emmanuel Episcopal Church and / or to Orcas Senior Center, 62 Henry Road, Eastsound, WA 98245.