In loving memory of
Jim Withington
  • March 30, 1920
  • -
  • July 28, 2009

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Obituary

Jim Withington, born March 30, 1920, passed away in the early morning hours of July 28, 2009.  The life he led was fuller than any could hope, and could not be had for any amount of riches.  The heavy load he carried for others throughout his life has been lifted, and those of us who he carried so selflessly on his shoulders can only repay him by making ourselves worthy of his commitment and passing his gifts on to others.  Jim lived in every corner of the country and saw some of the last century’s greatest events.  Jim graduated from Phillips-Exeter Academy and attended Tufts University.  He worked at the MIT Wind Tunnel and Boston’s Logan Field early in his career.  He served as a B-29 Crew Chief in the Philippines in the 1940s and then returned to Boeing where he worked for 36 years at Boeing as a senior engineer on some of their most important programs, including the Saturn V, 747, 737, 727, 707, KC-135 and YC-14.   After retiring he ranched in Montana and farmed in Oregon.  He was an avid sailboat racer, skier, fisherman, private aircraft pilot and was always looking to the next horizon.  He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Liz, son Jim and his wife Lisa with their two children, James and Lauren.  His brother, Bob, was also a lifetime Boeing man, and lives in the Seattle area with his wife Betsy and their children Vince, Tori, Martin, Holden and their families.  Although in later years he outlived many of his friends, we are pleased to know that he is back in their company.  He is enormously missed and cherished.

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  1. 28 Aug 2009
    Betty & Bryon Angvall says:
    We were so sorry to hear of Jim's death. We feel badly we haven't seen you all much in latter years but we sure did see a lot of each other when both families lived in Kingsgate. He was such a good person and a wonderful family man. If we can help in anyway let us know. We will always be here for you.

  2. 17 Aug 2009
    Becky Routh says:
    Hello Liz, Jim, Lisa, Lauren, James - I loved seeing the pictures of Jim and all of his activities; I really didn't know that he had done all of that - Iknew about Boeing, and sailing, but not about skiing, farming and ranching! What a good life he led and what a dear family he has; he has left behind a beautiful legacy in you. I'm so glad that Bob got to know you, Jim, because look where it has led - to some beautiful friendships. My heart and thoughts are with y'all. Love, Becky

  3. 17 Aug 2009
    Hank Routh says:
    Y'all have been in my prayers.

  4. 14 Aug 2009
    Phyllis L. Bottomly says:
    Liz and Jim - It is very sad to hear of Jim's death. I remembering meeting him first in Seattle, Washington and his subsequent marriage to you Liz. You shared that wonderful home on the Lake - such a beautiful and ideal spot. You were a great match Liz because as Jim pursued sailing, you pursued sewing the sails for the boat - a task not too many would take upon themselves.

    It was always a pleasure to visit you and Jim, and later Jimmy, whether in the Washington area, or outside Glacier Park in Montana, or on your farm in Roseburg, or the hinterlands of Albuquerque, New Mexico and then again in Florida. Wow!

    Also, the times we spent in Glacier, especially hiking into Glacier chalet together, or driving for groceries for the Bottomly reunion, are great memories.

    You and Jim created memories in your own lives, but also in the lives of your family.

    We will miss him. Lots of love, Phyllis

  5. 06 Aug 2009
    Marvin Wehrman says:
    Jim will be missed by all that knew him.

  6. 05 Aug 2009
    Diane Eng Yaguchi says:
    I am sorry to hear of Jim's passing. My father was a good friend of his and always spoke so highly of him. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. 03 Aug 2009
    Forbes and Jerri Bottomly says:
    We knew him as man of grit. We will miss his wonderfully honest sense of outrage in a complacent world.

    Love and condolences to Liz, Jim, Lisa and the grandchildren.

    From Forbes and Jerri

  8. 03 Aug 2009
    Woerne Family says:
    After Liz called with the news of Jim’s departure, I spent several hours in my yard – wandering and thinking about this special man – a great and accomplished adventurer as told in the tribute to him. I cherish the times we enjoyed together in their many homes since Jim married Liz, my good friend since college days. Our sons were born a few weeks apart and that has been another special bond. This business of living on after friends of nearly 50 years have departed is hard but we send our thank you to them for their Being and Sharing with us on this Life journey and setting an example of courage for life along the Way. See you later, Jim. Our sympathy is with all of you in Jim’s Family. Thinking of you with Love. Lynnette, Maria, Robert.

  9. 02 Aug 2009
    Joe Bottomly says:
    Jim was a kind, and generous uncle to me. He holds a special place in my heart. My favorite memory is him cooking a dinner using the fresh produce from his garden in Kirkland, Washington. He loved the simple good things.

  10. 01 Aug 2009
    John Paragano says:
    My deepest sympathy. I have so many memories of Jim. He will be greatly misses. As Mark Twain once said, "when an old person dies, we lose a library", and we certainly have. John Paragano

  11. 01 Aug 2009
    Irene bottomly says:
    I am sorry to hear of Jim's death. He was a devoted husband and father and will be greatly missed. I'll always remember his love of the water and boating. He was generous with his time and took the kids for many rides on Lake McDonald. I'm sure he is keeping company with his family and many friends that have gone before him.
    love and hugs to you, Liz and all the family. Irene Bottomly

  12. 01 Aug 2009
    Ted (Arthur E.) Rowse says:
    My wife Ruth and I will miss Jim very much. I lived in the same dormitory section with him at prep school, and we had many wonderful times together.

    In later years, we corresponded with each other and kept up with each other's families. We also bonded politically, even exchanging letters of outrage on this or that subject. Needless to say, our letters brought much needed changes in the nation's political scene.

    Along with his son Jim and his family, we enjoyed a number of visits of Jim and Liz to the Washington area. It was delightful to reminisce about the past. More recently, I talked with him about our 70th reunion in June at Exeter. Unfortunately, he could not go, but his best friend and roomate there, Johhny Benson, attended and we exchanged memories about Jim and the school, which has changed greatly in many ways. In fact, I had been intending to send him a personal report about the reunion but never got around to doing it in time, which I greatly regret.

    Although Jim has reached the end of the road, he still lives in the best sense through his son Jim and his lovely family in the Washington area. Young Jim is a fine example of humanity, a reflection of all the outstanding qualities of his father and mother. Ruth and I have lost a good friend but feel that we have gained others in son Jim, his wife Lisa and their two children.

    Our sympathies go to alll who were touched by Jim Withington, especially his widow, Liz.

    Ted Rowse

  13. 01 Aug 2009
    Jim says:
    As with everything else, Dad put as many miles on life as he could possibly manage. I was glad to be along for the ride. He regularly took us down the road less traveled. In the end, he reminded me of a tractor he had for over 30 years in three states. He sold it in 2001 for what he paid for it in 1970 and I don't think it ever ran again.

  14. 31 Jul 2009
    rvbottomly says:
    God Bless . Jim lived a full, exciting and productive life. I will be happier knowing he is still buzzing around. RVB.

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