James D. “Jim” McCuaig was born in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho on October 1, 1932 and died on February 17, 2020 in St. Maries, ID. He was preceded in death by his father Norman McCuaig, at one time the only school bus driver I Coeur d’ Alene and his mother Helen McCuaig, a long time Coeur d’ Alene Junior High School teacher.
Jim attended Coeur d’ Alene High School and the North Idaho Jr. College. In high school Jim was elected senior class president, sat first chair trombone in the band and orchestra. He was member of the Quill and Scroll and in Thespians. In sports, Jim loved football and track. He remembers scoring three touchdowns against Sandpoint. In track Jim had several Panhandle track records. He was a two-time gold medalist in the State of Idaho. Jim tied the state record in the 100-yard dash at 10 seconds flat.
Jim received his B.A. and M.A. Degrees from Gonzaga and served as a visiting lecturer in special education. Cardinal Cushing presented Jim with his Master’s Degree. Jim also attended graduate school at the University of Washington earning a certificate as a Special Education Supervisor. At Seattle University Jim received the Elementary Secondary School Administration certification and was admitted to the Doctoral Program in Educational leadership. He also took graduate courses at Seattle Pacific, Eastern Washington University, Central Washington University and Western Washington University.
Teaching at the Coeur d’ Alene Junior High was a high-point in Jim’s life, he took student teaching with his mother and was later a co-teacher at the school. Jim left Coeur d’ Alene and headed for Washington’s east-side. Jim taught at the Rainier School in Buckley and in the Kent Public Schools. He was special education Director in Mt. Vernon and Vice-Principal in Issaquah. Jim retired as program manager and instructor at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington. During his educational career, which began in 1956 and ended in 1998. Jim was also a School Board Director for the Lopez Island School District. He taught for the Job Corps program in Sedro Wooley for one year.
Jim met his first wife, Gale Gibson in the late 1950s. He was fortunate in having a wonderful stepdaughter. This marriage brought into the world James Norman (Jamie) Mc Cuaig. Jim was very, very proud of Jamie. Jamie retired from the United States Navy serving as a Navy Seal and in Anti-Submarine Warfare.
Professionally Jim was a member of the Idaho and Washington Education Associations and the Washington School Principals Association. Jim was elected to membership of the University of Washington’s Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa. He was Past President of the Rainier Chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children and was an early member of the Washington Association of Retarded Citizens. Jim was an active member in the Aerospace Education Association and served as Chairman of the Kent School Districts Aerospace Program. Working with, not for, NASA for three years Jim visited Cape Kennedy, Cape Canaveral, Ames Research Labs, China Lake, Houston, etc.)
In the mid 1970 Jim was divorced from Gale and later married Kathy Gowdey. From this marriage came daughter, Ami. Ami was always a light in Jim’s eyes. Ami is an accomplished writer and artist.
Jim was active in the community in which he lived. As a member of the King County Health Planning Council he served as treasurer and vice-chairman of the Hospital Steering Committee. He also represented King County on the Puget Sound Health Services Board of Directors. Other organizations that Jim was a member are: Co-Chairman of the Senior Elderhostel program on Lopez Island, Civitan member in Kent, Lions Club member on Lopez and a charter member of the Snoqualmie Falls Rotary Club.
In the early 1980s Jim fell in love with Beverly Tracy Garrett. They did everything together. Beverly became a scuba diver to please Jim. They spent several years on Lopez Island. They were co-owners in a fishing boat and dive boat. They ran the Bottoms Up Seafood business and commercially dove for scallops, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. They traveled to foreign countries and later moved to St. Maries, Idaho. Both Jim and Beverly were active in the St. Maries Presbyterian Church. Jim served and an Elder and Beverly served as a Deacon. They spent many years as active members of the St. Maries Elks Lodge. Jim was a Past Exalted Ruler and Trustee and Beverly first served as Secretary to the Ladies of the Elks and later as an Officer of the Lodge. Jim was a past- president of the St. Maries Kiwanis Club, was a CASA volunteer and a thirteen-year member of the Governor’s Panel on Keeping Children Safe. Jim served as Chairman of Benewah County’s Children’ Mental Health and the regional board of North Idaho Children’s Mental Health Council.
From Jim and Beverly’s marriage Jim was fortunate enough again to have two wonderful Step- children (now Step Adults) – Clint Beers and Penny Beers Bryant. There are also great in-laws, 7 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren. Jim loved them all.
Jim was an active sports enthusiast. He loved the Gonzaga Bulldogs and the Washington Huskies. Jim wrote about his 42 years as a sport and commercial diver. Jim’s hobbies, besides diving were fishing, hunting, camping, playing cards, and dancing.
A memorial service will be Friday February 21, 2020 at 2:00 pm at the Community Presbyterian Church in St. Maries, ID. A meal will follow at the church. Memorials can be made to the Community Presbyterian Church, 1100 College Ave. St. Maries, ID 83861.
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2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Friday, February 21, 2020
Community Presbyterian Church
1100 College Ave
St. Maries, Idaho, United States
Celebration of Life