James Robert Thomas passed away March 31, 2013 after having several strokes and years of poor health.
He was born Dec. 21, 1934 in Kingsley, Iowa, to Herman and Grace Duey Thomas. Jim spent his early years in Kingsley and in 1948 they moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., where he finished high school and college.
He met Jo Ann Wicks in college, and they were married in 1956. After graduating from college, they moved to Seattle, where he attended and graduated from the University of Washington Law School. While in law school, he worked for the Grey Line Co. and the Seattle School District. They moved to Omak in 1961 where they have since lived.
Jim opened his law office in Okanogan and was joined by his father-in-law, Judge Joseph Wicks, in 1962. During his 50 years of law practice, he served as the deputy prosecutor under Rod Young and the Superior Court Judge of Okanogan County.
Jim learned carpentry from his father and spent his spare time remodeling their home where they have lived for 47 years. He loved a good argument and usually took the opposite side just to make it more interesting.
He and Jo Ann enjoyed traveling: taking several cruises, golf vacations in the winter, going to Broadway musicals, listening to classical music, and visiting friends.
He was past president of the Okanogan-Omak Rotary Club, a member of the Okanogan Historical Society, and past exalted ruler of the Omak Elks Lodge.
He is survived by Jo Ann, his wife of 57 years; daughters, Kimberlee Moyer of Olympia, and Stacie (Wayne) Nicholson of Omak; grandchildren, Jamari Rodriquez of Belize, Central America, Sierra Evans of Olympia, Riley Moyer of Olympia, and Keelee, Jacob (Ashley) Chase and Josh Nicholson, all of Omak; and seven great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, John; son, Mark in 1973; and Ethan Nicholson in 1994.
A celebration of Jim’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 11, 2013, at the Omak Elks Lodge.
Donations may be made to the charity of your choice.