James Moss

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Nov. 24, 1930 - March 5, 2010

James Richard Moss, died on March 5, 2010, following an extensive hospital stay. Jim struggled with pulmonary fibrosis and congestive heart failure and is now at rest and in a wonderful place.

Jim was born to Thomas Wayne (T.W.) Moss and Allie Otta Drake on Nov. 24, 1930, in Canon City, Colo. T.W. was a well driller and blacksmith by trade so the family moved many times, finally locating to Walla Walla where he attended Green Park and Walla Walla High School.

He met the love of his life, Ramona Kessler, roller skating in June of 1949. Several weeks later their paths crossed once again "dragging the gut" and "people watching" on Main Street. Jim invited Ramona for a root beer. He asked Ramona for a date the following evening and boldly proclaimed that he was going to marry her!

They became engaged on April 30, 1950, and were married July 23, 1950. Ramona's father, Rev. Jacob Kessler, married Jim and Ramona at the German-speaking Zion Congregational Church in Walla Walla. They purchased their first home in Sept. of 1951 and lived there for twenty eight years until building their current residence on 396 Hill Road. Jim and Ramona were celebrating their 60th year of marriage.

Jim was a self-made man who his family would describe as a person who could "do anything." His father-in-law always said that he could be a rocket scientist, if he had wanted. His long career began as a mechanic and ended as the Motor Pool Supervisor of Washington State Penitentiary. Jim was proud of his association with the Department of Corrections. He was a gunsmith and had a wood business called Jim's Custom Woods. Jim served on the Automotive Advisory Board for the Walla Walla Community College and taught many mechanics in the northwest. He also served our county as a reserve College Place Policeman, Walla Walla County Deputy Sheriff, County Planning Commissioner, and Commissioner Candidate.

Jim loved his family and supported his children and grandchildren in each of their many pursuits. Jim also loved the outdoors. He enjoyed camping, fishing, hunting, archery, swimming, diving, bowling, and roller skating. He raced motorcycles competitively on both the flat and T-T tracks. He was a man of many gifts! Jim belonged to the Blue Mountain Community Church, the Wagon Wheelers, the Elks Lodge, Republican Committee, Retired Washington State Penitentiary Employees Association, Archery Club, Waitsburg Gun Club, and the National Rifle Association.

Jim is survived by his wife, Ramona, and his two children and their spouses, Rick (Mary) Moss and Cyndi (Rick) Walters; his three grandchildren and their spouses, Mayla (Scott) Donwerth, Jessica (Ryan) Boschma, and B.J. (Dora) Moss; his four great-grandchildren, Cheyenne, McKenna, and Ayanna Donwerth, and Brandon Moss. He is also survived by his "little" sister, Jean Hamlin, brother-in-law, Edwin (Ramona) Kessler, nieces, Sandra Sawyer, Judy (David) Johnson, Susan (John) Hellstrom, Judy Moss, and nephews, Tom and Jerry Moss, Stewart (Ellen) Kessler, Steve (Debbie) Kessler, Stanton (Susanne) Kessler, David (Sandra) Sawyer, and Matt (Laurel) Sawyer, and many dear friends. Jim was preceded in death by his father, T.W. Moss, mother, Allie Moss, father-in-law, Jacob Kessler, mother-in-law, Esther Kessler, brothers Willard and Bob Moss, and sisters, Martha Stowe and Pauline Massaro.

Viewing and visitation will be held Thursday, March 11, 2010, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and March 12, 2010, from 9 a.m. to noon. Family and friends are invited to a celebration of Jim's life to be held at Herring Groseclose Funeral Home Friday, March 12, 2010, at 2 p.m. Reverend Mike Hinrichsen will officiate. Honorary pallbearers are Dan Elmenhurst, George Elmenhurst, Russ Hozan, Dave Locati, Elmer Martonick, Carl Nuthak, John Ponti, Ernie Silva, Lou Silva, and Matt Tunell. Active pallbearers are Ryan Boschma, Rich Eagon, Eric Hays, Russ Kroum, Rich Mason, BJ Moss, Rick Moss, and Rick Walters. The Washington State Penitentiary Honor Guard will also be present.

The graveside service will follow at Blue Mountain Memorial Gardens on Myra Road. In lieu of flowers, dogwood trees or memorial contributions can be made to the Spokane Valley Young Life or the John Eagon Scholar-Athlete Award through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA.

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