James Horrigan | Obituary

James Horrigan | Obituary

Jim was born in Pasco,

WA to Joe and Anna

Horrigan. When he was

a young boy the family

moved to the Seattle/

Everett area. At the age

of 17 he and his best

friend Phil volunteered

for what they imagined

would be yet another

wild adventure experiencing

the world together

in the Army Air

Corps. Jim was a radio

operator on a C-47 until

the end of the war.

He did indeed travel

the globe only to find

his way back home where he spent the

remainder of his full life. After the war he

worked for the family businesses managing

Horrigan’s Market at Boren and Pike

in Seattle, building homes, and developing

land in Kenmore. In 1960 he joined the

commercial real estate division of Henry

Broderick at 2nd and Cherry in downtown

Seattle. He remained in commercial real

estate until his retirement in 1985 as the

Vice President and Regional Manager of

Commercial Property Management with

Coldwell Banker.

In 1957 Jim met the love of his life on a

blind date; he and Helen were married in

the summer of 1962. Their 58-year marriage

was a life-long love affair as best

friends and companions. They were wellknown

for their hand holding, stolen kisses,

and taking a spin around the dance

floor (with Jim in his socks of course).

He loved to cook and was famous for his

barbequing expertise; a skill he passed

down to a few of his grandchildren who

are equally superb grillers. The family

says thank you! Jim never met a story he

didn’t enjoy telling. He was a consummate

communicator; always ready with advice,

direction, remembrances, and laughter.

Jim and Helen’s home was a gathering

place where they enjoyed hosting parties

for family, friends, and colleagues. He produced

a big smile for anyone walking into

a room; you felt instantly welcomed. Despite

being a fair skinned freckled redhead,

‘Uncle Socks’ loved spending time in the

sun. After retirement Jim and Helen spent

their winters in Hawaii, Arizona, and Palm

Desert. Summers were spent tending to

their large vegetable and flower gardens,

boating the waters of Puget Sound with

friends or at their family

beach cabin along Colvos

Passage with their

daughters and grandchildren.

It was at the

beach cabin where the

bonds of family were

nurtured and grew

strong, projects were

planned, life lessons

were learned, and many

stories were told around

the dinner table. Jim

was a steadfast husband,

father, grandfather and

friend. Family was first

and foremost in his life

but his thoughtfulness,

generosity, and caretaking were felt by all

who knew him.

A glass of wine with his beautiful wife, a

dog to pet, a cat to fuss over, fresh seafood,

late nights with his favorite publication,

riding the train, barbecuing ribs, catching

fish, pu-pu’s with his little sister, a round

of golf, sleeping late, a cold beer on a hot

afternoon, and a day in the sun without a

cloud in the sky…these were but a few of

his favorite things.

Jim and Helen spent 54 glorious years in

their home on Mercer Island where every

family gathering was held; terrific memories

were made there with their daughters

and grandchildren. Jim spent the last 3

years living at Covenant Shores memory

care residence on Mercer Island where

he enjoyed socializing every day with the

residents and staff. He was blessed to have

such a wonderful home in his last years

that was filled with compassion and care

for his needs.

Jim is survived by his wife Helen Elizabeth

(Milne) of 58 years; sister Joanne Galvin

of Palm Desert, CA; 2 daughters Glenna

Diefendorf (David), Kathleen Marth

(John); 7 grandchildren Anna Diaz, Patrick

Diefendorf (Linda), Jocelyn Bowen (Tyler),

Joseph Diefendorf (Kristin), Shannon

Marth, James Marth (Tess), Daniel Marth;

11 great grandchildren; numerous nieces,

nephews, extended family and friends. Jim

was preceded in death by his parents Joseph

and Anna (Shannon) Horrigan, and

2 sisters Katherine Horrigan and Isabelle

Eichner. In lieu of flowers, donations may

be made in Jim’s honor to the Spinal Muscular

Atrophy Foundation (smafoundation.

org) or to a charity of your choosing.


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