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James “Jim” Valenzuela

Jim peacefully entered heaven on May 8, 2022 at the age of 80 with his wife by his side.

He was born on February 12, 1942 to Lucy and Andrew Valenzuela of Madera, CA. He married Mary Alice Rameriz in Coachella, CA at the young age of 17. They were married for 62 years at the time of his death.

Jim’s hobbies included wood carving, fishing, football and travel. He took many deep-sea fishing trips with family and was a loyal Seahawk fan to the end, which made for healthy family rivalry, especially when the Seattle Seahawks played the Arizona Cardinals. He took several trips abroad with Germany and France being his favorites. He traveled as a missionary to the Philippines and spent lots of vacation time in Mexico.

He had varied jobs as a young man that all involved working with his hands. When he moved to Washington from California, he briefly worked with the Mount Vernon School District. He found his passion in becoming self-employed and did home maintenance around Shelter Bay in La Conner, but his favorite job was landscaping with his best friend George Holt.

Jim volunteered several years with the La Conner Fire Department and loved it. Being self-employed allowed him to answer any call needed and he saw to them all. His fire career came to an abrupt end when he took a fire call and was a first responder to the fatal accident of his 20-year-old son Erick.

Jim is preceded in death by his son Erick Valenzuela, parents, two brothers, and a sister. He is survived by his wife Mary Alice, daughter Bea Cameron (Richard) Marana, AZ; James (Debi) Liberty Lake, WA; and one sister. He was Grandpa, Pops, or Papa Jimmy to five grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren and was Uncle Jimmy to several nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. on July 1, at Maple Hall in La Conner. The celebration, along with a light meal, is being hosted by Aaron Reinstra, La Conner fire chief, along with the La Conner Fire Department. A private burial will be held by immediate family at the Hawthorne Funeral Home in Mount Vernon, where Jim will be laid to rest by his son.

For those who are unable to attend the celebration of life, Jim had said he would love to be celebrated with a cold beer and hot BBQ.


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