James Giampietro

August 11, 1951January 16, 2022
Obituary of James Giampietro
James “Big Bad Jim” Giampietro: larger than life. August 11th, 1951 – January 16th, 2022. Jim was too substantial to be taken from this earth all at once. He passed away at the age of 70 in Tigard, OR, from complications of advanced dementia—his two children by his side. Born in Waltham, MA, he eventually moved to Newport Beach, CA with his mother, where he did much of his growing up. There he graduated from Claremont High and worked multiple jobs while amassing innumerable adventures & stories, which he would recount exhaustively to his children. At 32 years old, he moved to Fairbanks Alaska to get in touch with his gruff, manly side… He then became a wine and liquor salesman. No lumberjack, smooth talker Jim went on to win several awards, including being inducted into the Canadian Club Society for outstanding sales performance (1990). It’s in Alaska that he met the love of his life, Vicki Johnson. They married in 1984, 1-1/2 years after meeting, and a few years later moved to Portland to raise their family near Jim’s folks. Jim pushed everyone around him to live life fearlessly and vigorously, and he led by example—whether by surfing and scuba diving, jumping off the roof into the pool, doing a wheelchair wheelie on the elevator when hospitalized from a work injury, or getting a picture on Mount St. Helens just days after it erupted. He believed a life with memories meant more than an exceedingly long one. If dementia hadn’t taken his memory first, his autobiography would have been mythic. He loved his family tirelessly and gave them everything he could. To that end, Jim did everything from making kites, to body-breaking labor, to truck and bus driving, to real estate brokerage, and everything in between. He was the go-to handyman, from which neighbors always got help. He also gave up his career in real estate to care for his parents at home, in their final years. Some might argue he gave too readily, but morals, not money, are what drove him. Jim was a NASCAR loving, American flag waving, Coors Light drinking, respect-the-troops kind of guy—who raised two bleeding-heart liberal kiddos and taught them that people’s views are always more complex than society paints them to be. The son of two immigrants himself, he made a point of being the first person in the neighborhood to greet the new Lebanese family—the patriarch of that family is, to this day, the Giampietro family dentist. Jim also believed that the content of one’s character far surpassed any superficial measure: he idolized Muhammad Ali, often pointing to him as an example of someone who “stood for something.” Jim habitually treated others as equals, regardless of appearance, occupation, or presentation, and he is somebody from whom we could all learn a lesson in today’s political climate: there is always more than what you see at first glance. Jim is survived by his wife Vicki; daughter Tori, and son-in-law Austin; son Nick, daughter-in-law Ayumi, and grandson, Akito. He will be missed, and never forgotten. A funeral mass will be held on February 28th, 11:00 AM, at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, in Beaverton. A memorial will be held in the parish center across the street, immediately afterwards.

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Past Services

Monday, February 28, 2022

Funeral Mass

Monday, February 28, 2022

Memorial after Mass