James L. Ferrier, a son of Chehalis, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Oct. 2 while his sons were holding his hands. Jim was eager to meet his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to be reunited with the love of his life Sharon, who passed away in February of this year.
Jim was born on Dec. 6, 1937 at Saint Helens Hospital in Chehalis, Washington to Nellie Ferrier (Gilk) and Clifford (Buck) Ferrier. Raised in Chehalis, Jim graduated from W.F. West High School in 1957. A gifted, hard-nosed football player, Jim was offered a scholarship to play football for the University of Washington. A patriot at heart, Jim instead opted to enlist in the Navy. He spent two years in Subic Bay, Philippines working as a colonel’s aid. Having been raised a country boy in a small town, Jim often spoke of how grateful he was for the time he spent serving his country overseas.
Immediately following his stint in the Philippines, Jim would meet the woman of his dreams and future wife, Sharon Wallace. On the final leg of his journey back to Chehalis, Jim would ask this fetching young lady if he could sit next to her on a train ride to Portland, Oregon. By the end of the 18-hour train ride, Jim had asked Sharon to marry him. Just eight short months later, Jim and Sharon married on June 26, 1960. Jim and Sharon spent nearly 61 years together as husband and wife until Sharon’s sudden passing in February of 2021.
Jim and Sharon began their adventure by moving to and starting their family in Fremont, California. During their 14 years in California, Jim and Sharon would have four children, all boys, Jim, Darren, Eric and Craig. Always on the search for better opportunities, Jim encouraged Sharon to move their family to Chehalis in 1974. A wonderful town and community to raise a family, Chehalis would remain their home for the next 47 years.
A dutiful husband and father who worked many jobs to provide for his family, Jim finally landed a job in 1976 with the State of Washington and the Department of Natural Resources. Jim fought fires, created fire lines, and planted tens of thousands of trees around the state for nearly 25 years. Jim happily retired in 2000 and devoted the next 21 years to his family and grooming his 2-acre homestead. Jim found great joy in both activities.
Even during the leanest of times, Jim made sure his boys never wanted. He gave of himself selflessly to family and friends. Jim missed nary a son’s sporting event of which there would be thousands to attend over the course of two decades. Jim adored his family more than anything. Jim will be missed, but always loved by his family.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife Sharon, brother Bob, and parents Nellie and Clifford.
Jim is survived by his four boys Jim (Jamie), Darren (Tammy), Eric (Dana), and Craig (Angie); 11 grandchildren Kevan (Megan), Kendra, Kamryn, Kayli (Dakota), Abbey (Peter), Logan, Taylor (Devin), Jake (Yessenia), Alex, Nolan, Owen; eight great-grandchildren Lyndie, Conrad, Clark, Archer, Atticus, Elijah, Hudson, Roman, Evangeline and Ada; brother-in-law Marlin Wallace (Lisa) and their children Matthew, Leah, and David. Jim leaves behind a chosen son, Bud Zunino (Beth) and a chosen grandson, Gabe Sheets.
Please follow recommended guidelines for COVID-19 and join us for Jim’s celebration of life at Bethel Church in Chehalis, on Sunday, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m.