James Orville Welliver, 89, of Everett, Wash., formerly of Winfield, passed away peacefully Monday, Oct. 7, 2019.
Jim was born in 1930 to James and Garnett Welliver in Winfield. His father died when he was 10, and his mother, a nurse, raised Jim and his younger sister, Donna, with the help of their extended family. Always mechanically inclined, from a young age Jim always had a job, working in a gas station and later in a dairy. When he was 19, his sister introduced him to her best friend, Betty. They married in 1951, and he enlisted in the Air Force. He was stationed at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, where he and Betty welcomed their first son. He left the Air Force in 1955 as a Master Sargent, and the family returned to Winfield. With the experience he gained in the Air Force, Jim started his 35-year career with the Boeing Company in Wichita, and they completed their family with their second son.
Jim was offered a transfer in 1968 to Everett, Wash., to work on the new 747, and the family moved west. While in Everett, Jim was a final assembly rigging mechanic, went on domestic and international AOG trips to repair airplanes, and was promoted to management. His final assignment was as a preflight and delivery manager on the Everett flight line.
After he retired in 1991, Jim and Betty traveled the U.S. in their motor home. They spent time at their properties in Long Beach and Shelton, often accompanied by their grandchildren. But their favorite destination was Maui, where they loved to spend time with his sister and her husband.
Jim will be remembered as a hardworking man who loved woodworking, tinkering around the house and going to swap meets. He could fix just about anything. His grandchildren will forever remember the rides on his “go-cart,” flying kites on the beach, and the way he’d say “wheeeee” as he’d spin in his chair at the cabin.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father.
He is survived by Betty, his loving wife of 68 years; sister, Donna McClure and husband, Jay; son, Michael and wife, Gail, son, Scott and wife, Jodi, and grandchildren, Robert, Sarah, Nyssa and Chris.