Arthur James (Jim) Witsmeer 2/20/1938-4/3/2022 the second of five children born in Chicago, Ill to a tender-hearted father-Edward and a practical joker mother-Lois, who had an infectious giggle. Jim attended Roseland Christian School and Chicago Christian High School. Jim always blessed God for the Navy recruiter who arrived at their door in the summer of 1955 and offered him an ROTC scholarship to the Illinois Institute of Technology. Jim had been accepted to IIT but had no idea how he was going to pay for it.
Taking summer “cruises” with the Navy became a very formative part of Jim’s life. He graduated with an Engineering degree in 1959 and became an Ensign in the Navy. Jim mostly enjoyed his time in the Navy as an engineering officer on a destroyer, the USS Rogers. He then took a job at North American Aviation in Downey, CA where he worked on the Apollo project and received a Master’s in Engineering at USC. Jim also met the love of his life in the church choir; they married in 1965 and moved to Palo Alto for Ruth to teach Elementary School and Jim to work on an advanced degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford.
Boeing as well as the beautiful Pacific Northwest captured Jim’s attention and they moved to Kent in 1968. Jim loved Boeing until he didn’t. He was lured back to Southern California to The Aerospace Corporation right before the Boeing Crunch. He also appreciated The Aerospace Corporation and the challenges there until he was again enticed back to the Boeing Company by his former boss. This time, they moved to Bellevue with their 2 children.
Jim thoroughly invested himself in his life at Boeing and engaged with many awesome people and programs. He retired in 1998 and went on to become a visiting professor at City University, Seattle Pacific University, and St Martin’s University. Of all the teaching that Jim did, he loved teaching Sunday School the most.
Jim loved his Lord, his family, his work, and his church. He often marveled that the Lord had blessed us with 5 unique, charming, brilliant, and delightful children through adoption and then there were Grandchildren!
Jim is survived by his wife, Ruth, Daughter Joan (Paul Keil) Son Kirk Witsmeer, Daughter Laura Linman, and Son in Law Timothy Retynski, 9 Grandchildren, and 3 Great Grandchildren. Sister Alice Harbin (Roger), Sister Dorothy Broekhuizen (Gary), Brother Edward Witsmeer, Brother in law John Jacobsma, and multiple nieces and nephews. He is enjoying Heaven with his son Marc and daughter Nancy.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on: May 21 at 2 PM at the Tacoma Christian Reformed Community Church 2419 E 72nd ST. Tacoma, WA. 9840