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James “Jim” Palmer Newberry: December 14, 1938 – October 20, 2018
James “Jim” Palmer Newberry passed away peacefully on 20 October 2018 at the age of 79 from the effects of a lengthy illness. He was born in Salt Lake City, UT on 14 December 1938 to Horace E. Newberry and Emily Marie Willard.
Jim spent the majority of his childhood in Bellingham, WA. He attended and graduated from Bellingham HS in 1956 and Western Washington University in 1962 with Bachelor of Arts in Education.
While Jim was a senior in high school, he met a classmate Dorothy “Dot” Sybrant, and after four years they were married in 1960. With an eternal bond, they were still best of friends 58½ years later. Their children include Gregory James, Krista Jene, Bruce Alan, and Karl Howard.
In 1962, Jim accepted a teaching position in Oak Harbor, WA. Over his 36 years of teaching, he taught 4th grade, 6th grade in elementary and middle schools, math, PE, and more. He enjoyed his time at OHE, CVE, OHMS, and NWNS. He was also instrumental in establishing the outdoor education program that featured week-long classes held at the Camp Moran Environmental Learning Center on Orcas Island. Over two decades of students and parent leaders alike remember with fondness orienteering, fishing, shelter building, plant studies, adventures on the lake, campfires, and Jim’s lively spirit. As an avid skier, he also helped coordinate the Oak Harbor School District Ski School program.
Over the years, Jim had several loves besides his family. He was a devoted fisherman, and he could often be found crabbing, gardening, and hiking. He also enjoyed house building, woodworking, and pottery. And, attending grand children’s activities and sports brought him joy. He and Dot treasured traveling and exploring, particularly the Smithsonian Museums, Alaska, and family camping adventures.
Jim was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, holding various leadership and teaching positions, including 14 years as a high school seminary teacher.
He is survived by his wife Dot, daughter Krista, and sons Greg (Julie), Bruce, Karl (Debbie), brother Mark A. (Alice), granddaughters Chelsea Jene, Alesha Raquel, Madison Nicole, and grandsons Kellan James, Tyler Palmer, and Nicholas Edward. He was proceeded in death by grandson Paden Clair.
The family invites you to join them in a celebration of Jim’s life at 3 p.m. Friday, on Oct. 26th, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 201 NE O'Leary St, Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Arrangements were entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home. To leave condolences or share memories, please visit the funeral home website at www.wallinfuneralhome.com. Remembrances can be made to Oak Harbor Education Foundation at P.O. Box 1801, Oak Harbor, WA 98277.
Our deepest condolences to you and your family during this time. Please know that our family is keeping you and yours in our prayers and thoughts.
Dion and Janae Midkiff and family - Friday October 26, 2018 via Donation
To: OAK HARBOR EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
Memories Jim left will live on forever in all the lives he touched. Whether it be in the classroom, all the trips to Camp Moran, the Oak Harbor ski program, or in the yard, Jim was a role model for every life he touched - and there were many!!! I feel so blessed to have shared so many experiences with Jim. He was a great teacher, friend, and mentor. I worked side by side with Jim for decades, and all memories are positive, happy, fun, productive, creative, and smile-producing. Jim, you had a huge impact on my career and life as a human being. Thank you. May you rest in peace, knowing you are deeply loved and missed by your family and everyone whose lives you impacted.
CHERYL L BECKMAN - Thursday October 25, 2018 via Condolence Message
We were so distressed to hear about Jim's passing. He taught with me (Paul)for 3 years and he was exemplary in his duties and I had the honor of accompanying him to Camp Moran which he directed where the students learned often much more than in an academic setting.
He will be sorely missed and we extend our heartfelt gratitude to have known him.
May his family be sustained by their faith at this difficult time.
Paul and Lori Sandberg
Paul and Lori Sandberg - Thursday October 25, 2018 via Condolence Message
In the fall of 1970, my family relocated to Oak Harbor. I entered the 6th Grade at Clover Valley Elementary. Though I was a Navy brat and used to moving around, it was a tough transition.
Jim was one of 3 teachers overseeing the 6th grade. We were packed into the CVE auditorium with blackboards separating. He was extremely kind and supportive and midway through the fall semester invited me into a special accelerated private group of students that included Gretchen Young, Debbie Krieg and Michael Marin. We were allowed to work at our own pace and there was a salt-water aquarium in our special corner. Jim taught me how to play chess. It was a magical time. I'm still friends with many of those students.
I occasionally saw him in later years, working in his yard, then I moved away and lost touch. I thank Pat Hawley for posting news of his passing on FB. Jim: You loom large in me legend, as they say. You taught me kindness, intellectual curiosity and generosity. I am a successful teacher and writer now. You did a lot of things right.
Robert Morgan Fisher - Thursday October 25, 2018 via Condolence Message
Our sincere condolences and much love to you Aunt Dot and all the Newberry clan.