James Nathan Stepp
Dec 24, 1922 – Sep 27, 2016
James Nathan 'Jim' Stepp
Born: 24 December 1922, Brownwood, Stoddard Co, Missouri
Transitioned: 27 September 2016, Olympia, Thurston Co, Washington
Internment: Washington Memorial Park, Sea Tac, King Co, Washington
Jim Stepp was the firstborn child of William E and Clara Helen (Walker) Stepp; he was predeceased by his parents, wife Norma H, brothers: Bart, Ivan, Kenny, John, and sister: Marilee Chandler; and Carroll Arnold, his first wife and mother of his daughters, Jill Johnston and Sharon Turner, both of whom survive him. Jim is also survived by sister Cora Glidden of Longview, Washington, and many loving grand, great and great great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Devotion to family was always a high priority with Jim, as were a principled life and longterm friendships from his youth around Vader and Ryderwood and extending throughout the U.S. He was recognized as an honest and dependable friend, maintaining contact and being visited by many from diverse areas and age groups, even to his last days. He was well known as an inveterate helper, keeping, even in his advanced years, an extensive tool kit for assisting neighbors.
Most of his working life, beginning as a 1940s high school student driving school bus in Chehalis, save periods of logging around Packwood and elsewhere, Jim drove: passenger buses, log trucks, and freight trucks. Always a staunch union member, he was most closely connected with Alaska Teamster Local 959 and attended many of its retiree reunions, most recently in Sparks, Nevada.
Jim loved driving; his daughters remember that even in his limited time at home between trips, the family was in the car going- somewhere, anywhere, nowhere- but going. Jim is most known for being a pioneer driver in the late 1950s on the primitive Al-Can Highway and for driving to the North Slope in Alaska. He was proud that in nearly 2 million professional miles, he had never had a chargeable accident. He was held in high esteem by those who knew him, and he valued and maintained many of those friendships.
At 93 years of age, Jim was clear of mind. An amateur historian and avid reader, his knowledge of a wide range of topics and his love of people made him an interesting conversationalist.
Jim's spiritual convictions helped him maintain hope through his final months, and helped ease his peaceful passing at Mother Joseph Care Center in Olympia. The family wishes to thank the many friends and families who have expressed their care and love. In lieu of flowers, Jim requested donations to OHSU Doernbecher Childrens' Hospital Foundation (TAX ID 93-05795889), Mail Stop 45, PO Box 4000, Portland, OR 97208-9852.---- ---- ----
God's taken my soul and set it free; I had to go, it was meant to be. He released my soul to let it stray to beautiful places along the way.
Let not my loved ones grieve for me. This is the way it was meant to be. So on this beautiful, glorious day, God has taken my soul and led me away.
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