James Richard Link
COURTESY THE LINK FAMILY
Jim was the kind of guy that would often say, “I had everything I ever wanted.”
Jim was born in an apple shack in Omak, Wash., on April 24, 1937. He was the first son of Alfred M. and Mary E. Link. He had an older sister, Marilyn (Clinton) Anderson, deceased, and leaves a younger brother, David (Donna) Link of Helena, Mont. He passed away at home with family by his side on August 28.
Jim is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary L. (Walisch) Link, daughter Terri A. Link, son Allen R. Link (Leesa), daughter Laura J. Marchand (Mitch), and preceded in death by infant son Steven R. Link. He was also blessed to be Papa to 8 grandchildren: Audrey (Andrew) Stout, Joshua (Aileen) Link, Kasey James, Miranda (Sean) Stille, Karrah (Kurt) Nygard, Austin Romerein, Zachary Link, Jacob Link, as well as 11 great-grandchildren: Lexi, Peyton, Kali, Belle, Kash, Abby, Dax, Isla, Austin, Megan and Jordan. He will be remembered fondly for his never-ending supply of M&Ms, ice-cream time, his apple tree, pontoon boat rides, papa jokes, toads-in-the-hole, papa juice, the dirt pile, soda pop in the garage and his assortment of stray cats, to name only a few.
A short time after his birth the family moved to Elmer City, Wash. He went to school in Coulee Dam graduating in the Class of 55. Jim was a proud “Beaver.” He liked to tell people he went to a Dam school in a Dam town. The friendships with his fellow classmates lasted his lifetime and he enjoyed his role as the class social organizer for reunions, monthly lunches and keeping tabs on everyone.
Following graduation, Jim and his buddies spent time as apple thinners in Mr. Morgan’s orchard and were known for composing the “world famous” apple thinners song — don’t ask, you really don’t want to know. But that job didn’t provide enough gas money for his car, so he volunteered for the draft and served in the Army — not a big moneymaker either. Jim then began a 35-year career as a telephone lineman with Pacific Northwest Bell and ended as an instructor in the Seattle Training Center for Qwest. He enjoyed meeting up with fellow retirees for monthly breakfasts at Bob’s Café. Jim served many terms as President of the local chapter of the company’s service organization, Pioneers of America and for a few years was president of the Telephone Workers of America Union.
But most of all he loved to fly. Using his VA benefit,s he took lessons and proudly built the first airplane he flew. Over the years it was his pleasure to fly friends and family all over the Columbia Basin. His favorite trips were flying over Steamboat Rock and then cruising down the Columbia River for a birds-eye view of Grand Coulee Dam. When he was no longer able to fly he proudly turned over “his wings” to his son and grandson. He was instrumental in organizing the local Experimental Aircraft Association, Chapter 355, and served for many years as the president.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Moses Lake Presbyterian Church, 1142 West Ivy Avenue at 1 p.m. on August 19th. Jim’s favorite dessert will be served following the celebration.
Please consider making a donation in Jim’s name to the Young Eagles, E.A.A., P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086.