November 11, 1950 – February 2, 2020
Jim Chatterton, 69 passed away in Burien (Seattle), WA 02/02/2020. He was born to Norman J and Thelma Nessen Chatterton, 11 November 1950, on a lovely fall Saturday. He was the seventh of nine siblings. Jim grew up on the family farm along the Sugar Creek in Cub River Canyon, ten miles east of Preston, ID. He began life with a special spirit, work ethic, and a drive to succeed, that would define his entire life.
As a young man, Jim met the love of his life, Wanda Greene of Weston, ID. In 1970, at nineteen years of age, they began a wonderful fifty year journey together that blessed them with two cherished children, Lindi and Darrin. Their grandchildren, Lindi’s daughters Ali and Leslie, also Darrin and Suzy’s daughter Shelby, were truly the apple of Jim’s eye. He dearly loved each of them! He was so proud of his entire family. Jim said that Wanda was the best thing that ever happened to him. They loved their beautiful home and were happiest when their family came to visit. They enjoyed Jim’s work time in Hawaii but couldn’t wait to get back home to be with their children and granddaughters.
He attended school in Franklin and Preston, Idaho. During those years he made friendships that have lasted a lifetime. Jim finally graduated at the top of his class from the most prestigious of all schools -The School of Hard Knocks. His education taught him that behavior is more important than simple knowledge. He was fiercely loyal and his lack of judging others allowed him to love so many in ways few people can. Countless individuals swear that he liked them better than he liked anyone else. What a talent! He was a wonderful friend to so many!
Jim was his dad’s farm hand beginning at a very young age. He milked cows, fed livestock, harvested and hauled hay and grain (also manure!), all while still just a child. He worked closely with his sisters who were about his same age. One of his favorite early chores was feeding bum lambs with a bottle and nipple. When he was ten years old his dad wrote “If I hadn’t of had little old Jim, don’t know what I’d of done”.
Jim loved driving a TD 6 International crawler tractor, a task he began about that same age - he never lost that love of operating heavy equipment. Work was never work for Jim. In fact, he celebrated hard work. He spent his entire life operating every earth moving machine, from small ones to the largest ones made. Jim’s finest equipment skills were probably best evidenced in the work he performed with a backhoe (likely his favorite machine) while digging precise and sometimes delicate utility trenches throughout downtown Seattle.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Wanda, daughter Lindi Chatterton, son Darrin (Suzy) Chatterton, granddaughters Ali (Kasey) Byquist, Leslie Puthoff, and Shelby Chatterton; also his eight siblings: Joyce (Eugene) Talbot, N Jerry (Janeal) Chatterton, Karen (Dennis) Thomson, Marsha (Neil) Maughan, LaDene (Sherman) Stokes, DeAnn (Bob) Fellows, Carma (Marvin) Hodges, and Rhonda (Michael) Parson, and many in-laws, nieces and nephews.
He was so loved by many grand nieces and grand nephews. They all loved ‘Uncle Jim’. So many loved his stories and especially enjoyed it when he pretended to make his missing fingers disappear, or played with them and a water or blow snake to help them not be afraid of snakes. As a young man, Jim loved to ride horses and go deer and elk hunting in the mountains near the family farm. He enjoyed his old and fast cars, including his Corvette, Dodge Challengers, but especially his red and white 1965 Ford Mustang convertible!
The long list of core values that define Jim would surely include the following: family is the most important thing in the world; if you want something done, do it yourself; roll with the punches; through hard work you can live your dreams; hard times make you wise and strong; I can live and I can love; go forward with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face; I will go and I will do.
Jim could do or fix anything. He was strong enough to be gentle; he didn’t need advice, just a hand to hold. Jim believed that being grandpa was one of the best things in the world. He marveled at the mistakes in life that gave him wisdom and strength. He was always the first many called in a time of need and he was always willing to lend a helping hand. Jim wasn’t one to show his emotions, but always believed when life knocks you down, you get back up and work like hell! On several occasions during his final days, he said two things: ‘tell those dear to you that you love them and do it often’ and ‘the best is yet to come’!
Jim requested his body be cremated and the ashes interred in the Mapleton, Idaho Cemetery, adjacent to the farm where he grew up. A ‘Celebration of Life’ gathering will be held on 22 February 2020 from 12-3pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 200 S 177th PL, Seattle, WA 98148. A second celebration will be held in Mapleton, Idaho on Memorial Day May 25, 2020 when winter is over and the grass is green.
Thanks to all the many good people who showed their love, who were so kind and helpful in many ways, during Jim’s almost year long battle with cancer. There is no way to adequately express our family’s appreciation to all who were so thoughtful and supportive during our hardest times!
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
- Celebration of Life Saturday, February 22, 2020