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Jim North passes away at 83
NORTH BEND - People know the word "legend" can be misused and overused if not attributed correctly, but Valley residents had no problem giving the title to Jim North upon hearing of his death last week.
The Valley legend died of complications from congenital heart failure on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at Overlake Hospital Medical Center. He was 83.
"He was a central part of the Valley," said Harley Brumbaugh of North Bend. "You mention Jim North and your stock went up like crazy."
Jim had already made a mark for himself before he even came to the Valley. The Tukwila native had been a star athlete in high school and went on to play football for Central Washington State College. After graduating, he came back home to spend a year coaching at his old school before going to Washington D.C. with his wife Frances to be a lineman for the Washington Redskins in 1942.
After a year, Frances's father died, bringing the Norths back home to help take care of the family's diary farm. Jim came to the Valley to teach at Mount Si High School and started coaching an array of sports. It was there he established himself as a Valley institution in and out of the classroom, on and off the field.
"Jim was part of the ebb and flow of the community in the '40s and '50s," said friend Fred Lawrence, who played football under Jim and later coached with him at Mount Si High School.
For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record