James (Jim) Christopher Skucy, also known as Kit, passed away at home on September 23, 2020.
Jim was an amazing person, man, friend, husband, dad and grandpa. He was loved by his friends and family beyond measure and will forever be in our hearts. All who knew him felt very blessed to have had him in their lives. Trump lost a vote and we lost Jim!
Jim was born June 5, 1945 in Everett, Washington to John and Estelle (Wallin) Skucy. Jim’s father was a furrier and owned his own company, Skucy’s Fur. Jim was raised on the family farm in Everett, Washington, with his brother, John; foster brother, Chester (Bob) and cousin, Carol. The kids helped their mother run the farm with chickens, pigs, cows, and horses after their father passed away in 1957.
Jim attended Sunnyside Grade School, which was just down the way from their home. He then attended Lake Stevens Junior High through 7th grade. Jim graduated from Lake Stevens High School in 1963 (fondly called, “The Pink Palace”). In school, Jim enjoyed playing baseball and basketball. Jim continued his education by attending University of Washington, where he received his BA in Psychology (cum laude) in 1967. He then completed his MA at Yale University in 1969 and then moved on to completing graduate studies at Southern Connecticut State College until 1975.
While completing his graduate studies Jim worked for New Haven Connecticut Board of Education with the Head Start Program, where he worked as a Teacher and then an Education Coordinator until 1975. Jim then returned to the University of Washington, where he worked in the State Technical Assistance and Training Office as a Parent Involvement/Social Services Specialist until 1980.
In 1981, Jim worked as a Program Supervisor for the Snohomish County Head Start before moving to Yakima, Washington later that year. Jim took a job as a Program Supervisor at EPIC Head Start, this decision changed his life forever. EPIC Head Start is where he met many lifetime friends as well as his wife, Cynthia Hohner. In 1982, Jim and Cynthia moved in together and he became an instant father to Tyson, who was 4 years old at the time. Jim and Cynthia got married on July 11, 1992 and were married until Cynthia’s passing in 1996.
Jim continued to work at EPIC Head Start as he was promoted to an Early Childhood Education Manager until 1989. In 1989, he excelled in his career by becoming the Director of Benton Franklin Head Start in Richland.
In 1998, while Jim was working as the Executive Director at Benton Franklin Head Start, he met Karen King, who was working in a children’s program housed at the Children’s Center. Jim and Karen started dating and were married on April 7, 2005, in Tybee Island, Georgia. They enjoyed 22 wonderful years together.
Jim and Karen loved to travel and some of the most special trips included a Caribbean cruise with Tyson and Angela where within the first few days on the ship, it struck a coral reef and took on water, and had to be evacuated. They went on a cruise to Alaska with Karen’s extended family. Other travels included trips to Branson, numerous National Parks and Monuments, New Orleans, Savannah, Charleston and numerous trips in the west to visit friends and family. A recent highlight was taking their grandchildren, Desiree and Nathaniel, on a road trip this past July, traveling through Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. They visited Jim’s foster brother and sister in law, Chester (Bob) and Lee, as well as visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton Village. They all loved the trip so much that they were already planning a road trip for next year to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore.
In July of 2003, Jim fulfilled a lifelong dream of traveling to Tanzania, Africa and going on an African safari.
In June of 2014, Jim retired from Benton Franklin Head Start as the Executive Director. During his career, he encouraged employees to never stop learning and to always go after their dreams. Jim was an exceptional leader in the early childhood education community. He had a passion for ensuring families of young children received all the support they needed to ensure healthy development. Jim left a powerful mark on the community and touched the lives of many.
After retirement, Jim joined Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) with the Richland Police Department, where he was voted for President and continued serving in that role until his passing. Jim also assisted with the citizenship and English as a second language classes at West Side Church. He also participated in several recreational organizations and was a wine connoisseur.
Jim loved camping, hiking, reading, traveling, listening to music, drinking wine, and spending time with his friends and family, especially his two grandchildren. Anyone that knew Jim, knew that he was so proud of his son, daughter in law and his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Karen King of Richland; a son, Tyson and Angela Hohner of Yakima; grandchildren, Desiree and Nathaniel Hohner; foster brother, Chester (Bob) and Lee Black; sister in law, Barbara Skucy; nieces, Suzanne and Joel Williams, and Michelle and Dodd Drake; and his wife’s extended family.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, John Skucy; mother, Estelle (Wallin) Skucy; previous wife, Cynthia Hohner Skucy; and brother, John Skucy.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 2:00 pm at One Life Family Worship, 3414 Tieton Drive, Yakima, Washington. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, family is only able to attend the service and the service will be broadcasted live via Jim Skucy’s Facebook page.