James Carter Passmore Sr. was born April 5, 1929, to Cecil Passmore and Ruth Williams Passmore in Moscow. He completed his earthly journey on Monday, April 19, 2021.
And what a journey. James grew up in Moscow with three siblings, William, George and Elizabeth. They lost both parents before Jim was 14 years old. The four siblings, with support from family and the Moscow community, maintained a strong bond. He graduated from Moscow High School and the University of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in education. While completing school, he was enlisted with the Reserve Officer Training Corp. It was at an ROTC dance that he met the love of his life, Ruth Vivian Beecher Passmore. They were married Sept. 29, 1951.
The early years of their new family was spent in Pullman, where Jim owned the Farmer’s Insurance Agency and Ruth worked as registered nurse. Career opportunities took them to Spokane. They later made work-related moves to Colorado and Seattle. Well ahead of the women’s movement supporting women in the workplace, Jim was an unwavering support of Ruth’s nursing career. They shared a steadfast commitment to each other’s needs and forged shared dreams that they tackled as a team.
Jim was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed hiking, fishing, hunting, camping and exploring the remote backwoods of northern Idaho. That passion was embraced by Ruth and passed on to all four children. As time evolved, camping continued with a pickup camper and boat. This chapter included purchasing boat-access-only property on Lake Christina in eastern British Columbia. Jim floated lumber to the property that was soon tagged as the Passmores’, with either the largest outhouse or the smallest cabin on the lake. After the kids were raised, Jim and Ruth made a final move together back to the Lewiston-Clarkston area. While Ruth finished her career, Jim took on the build of a cabin at Lake Christina (worthy of the outhouse). Again, ahead of their time, and with Ruth’s interior design skills, they opened the first boat-access-only bed and breakfast on the lake. They spent multiple summers of their retirement enjoying their vision and sharing it with friends and family.
Jim was raised in the Methodist Church in Moscow. There was a spiritual influence at work throughout his life. It was in his later years that he rediscovered his connection to the Holy Spirit and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. That connection was borne out in how he lived his life and shone brightest in his later years. After Ruth passed in 2016, Jim moved to Seattle to be closer to immediate family. He was blessed to rekindle a relationship with his brother, George, and sister-in-law Pat. With sister Elizabeth by telephone, they got together weekly to swap stories, laugh and commune with God. Jim was at peace with his Maker and often spoke of the joy he would find when he “graduated” to the other side.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth; parents Cecil and Ruth (Williams) Passmore; brothers William and George; and grandson Ross Bryde. He is survived by his children, James C. Passmore Jr., Michael D. Passmore, Jeanine S. McDermott and Mary C. Dawson; daughters-in-law Mary Gastel Passmore and Ginny Bryde Passmore; sister Elizabeth Passmore Clontz; sister-in-law Patricia Passmore; and grandchildren Taylor Passmore, Carter Passmore, Michelle Passmore, Michael Bryde, Sean McDermott, Kayla Hotvedt, John Lewis and Christina Dawson.
A memorial service is planned for 1:30 p.m. Monday, May 24, at the Moscow Cemetery, led by Debbie Sperry of the Moscow United Methodist Church. Both Jim’s and Ruth’s ashes will be interred following the memorial. A life celebration will be held from 4-9 p.m. at the University Inn Best Western in Moscow. Please RSVP to Mary_C_Dawson@msn.com for dinner at 4:30 p.m.