Jim Wikstrom, 89, a life-long Yakima resident, succumbed to colon cancer on May 23, 2019. He was preceded in death by his parents W.O. and Brilla Wikstrom, his wife Susan Wikstrom (1977) and his daughter Karen Jill Wikstrom (2006).
Jim is survived by his wife Alice Wikstrom; son Eric Wikstrom; step-sons Chris, Randy, Steve and Blaine Smith; son-in-law Eric Gaffney; and grandchildren James and Vanessa Gaffney.
Jim was born February 27, 1930 in Yakima, WA and graduated from Yakima High School in 1948 and the University of Washington in 1952. In 1952, he married Susan Melosh and then entered the U.S. Navy where he served as an officer on an aircraft carrier during the Korean War conflict until 1956. After leaving military service, he joined his father in the automobile business operating Wikstrom Motors for many years. Jim later worked at Western RV in Yakima as a service manager.
In 1981 Jim married Alice Smith and together they enjoyed 37 years of travel, socializing, pet ownership and 20 years as Foster Parents. He loved to play racquetball at the Yakima YMCA and the Yakima Racquet Club and competed many times at the national level. One of his highlights was competing in the International Masters Racquetball Tournament at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO and after playing 14 games in 4 days coming away as champion in the 70 to 75 age group.
Jim was a long-time aviator, even obtaining his pilots license before he got his drivers license at age 16. He also served for many years as the treasurer of the Yakima Aero Club. Jim enjoyed pheasant, duck and deer hunting with his many Yakima friends and was truly an outstanding community contributor and Girl Scout Troop assistant to Alice.
A celebration of Jim’s life will be held on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at Cascade Garden in Yakima at 1:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Yakima Y.M.C.A. at 5 N. Naches Ave., Yakima, WA 98901.