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James Edward Volk

James Edward Volk was born on September 14, 1932 in Devils Lake, North Dakota, the seventh of eleven children born to Thomas and Marcella (Lemaire) Volk. He passed away at his home in Seattle on April 3, 2023 at the age of 90.  Jim grew up on a farm outside of Devils Lake and from a very early age developed a strong work ethic that would define him the rest of his life.  Jim graduated from Webster High School in 1950 and joined the Navy in 1951,  serving four years and getting the chance to see the world and make lifelong friends with his shipmates on the USS Chilton.  

Jim was married to Janet LaBarre on October 27, 1956, a union that lasted sixty four years until her death on November 5, 2020. Jim was discharged from the Naval Reserves in August of 1959 and he moved with Jan and their firstborn son Jay to the Pacific Northwest where his sister Margaret and brother-in-law Maurice Barstad were living. He found work as a day laborer on the dockyards and he wasn't there long until his union boss told him the school district was hiring. He applied for and got a job working in the maintenance department, a job he worked until retirement.

Jim was happiest when engaged in hard physical labor.  He took up running in the late 1970s, becoming an accomplished marathoner and ultramarathoner. Jim enjoyed watching his grandchildren compete in sports.  He also enjoyed watching the Mariners, Seahawks and college basketball. He was a man of strong habits, even naming his dogs "Jeannie" after the original, first (and favorite) family dog "Jeannie" (1965-1974).

Thank you dad for hanging in there those last two plus years since mom died.  You endured a lot of pain. It gave us a chance to get to know and love you more.  

Jim is survived by his children and (spouses):
Jay (Torrey) Volk - Jack & Anna
Janis (Pat) Walsh - Marcus (Julia) -- Carter James, Miles & Sean Patrick
Gail (Gregg) Kingma - Kristi (Shaddye) Melu -- Asa & Shiloh, Brett, Dan (Nikki), Kelli (Jontay) Porter, Brooke (Andrew) Ayers
Geri (Brian) Henling - Julie (Nick) Loucks, Shelly, Molly, Lily, Carly & Paul
James Volk

He was predeceased in death by his wife Janet and his son-in-law Pat Walsh.  

A funeral mass will be held on Wednesday, April 26, at 10:00am at St. John Catholic Church, 7916 1st Ave NW, Seattle 98117
It will be live-streamed at
and on conclusion of the service it can be accessed at


So sorry for your loss. 

Marianne and Dave Livingstone

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