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JAMES R. GREGG
June 22, 1927 ~ July 23, 2014
A wry and evocative wit departed on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 as James R. Gregg died peacefully in his sleep of age-related causes.
Born on June 22, 1927 to a Butte, Montana copper miner and his boardinghouse manager wife, Jim grew up paying assiduous attention to the Great Depression's impacts on those who struggled to make ends meet.
Following a sojourn in St. Maries, Idaho, Jim graduated from Spokane's Lewis and Clark High School in 1943 at sixteen years of age. Too young for military service, Jim continued his education at W.S.U. Jim joined Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, took a turn as Dr. Einstein in Arsenic and Old Lace , and met, but did not date, future wife Barbara Crabtree.
Jim enlisted in the Navy after he turned eighteen. He saw action in the Pacific Theater including Japan and China. Returning to Washington State for the 1956-1947 sessions, he graduated in 1948 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science.
On August 14, 1948, Jim and Barbara exchanged wedding vows. Their union would last until her unexpected death in 2006.
Jim lived in North Carolina from 1948-1951 while he earned his Law degree at Duke University.
Jim moved to Vancouver in 1952 to open a law office in the Schofield Building with classmate and Ridgefield native Jim Carty. Over the next decade, Jim kept offices, occasionally with a partner, in the Adams and Medical-Arts Buildings. In 1962, he purchased the Civil War-era Brown House, located at 400 West 11th Street, from William C. Bates, his friend and mentor. He practiced law in that house for more than fifty years.
Jim revered his membership in the Masonic Lodge, and served as the Order's Master in 1962. For more than sixty years, he loyally served St. Luke's Episcopal Church, and considered it his spiritual home.
Jim is survived by his son, Andy; daughter-in-law, Donna; brother, Judge Robert Harris; sister-in-law, Mary Jo Harris; nieces, Marie Sullivan and Joanna Butcher; nephew, Rob Harris; great-nephews, Jesse and Brady Weber; great-niece, Ashley Weber; cousin, Lisa Nunlist, Jennifer Weber.
Jim's life will be celebrated at St. Luke Episocpal Church on Saturday, August 23, 2014, at 6:00 p.m.
Please sign his guestbook at www.columbian.com/obits
Published in The Columbian on Aug. 17, 2014