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James (Jim) Roger Thomsen, (also known as “Gentleman Jim”), 87, passed away at home on September
24, 2022, of natural causes.
Jim was born in Gayville, South Dakota on August 14, 1935 (the same day that President Roosevelt
signed the Social Security Act into law). Jim’s parents, Aage and Ida Thomsen, left South Dakota during a
snow storm in February of 1941, headed for Washington. With them were their four boys, Aage’s
younger brother Virgil, and all of their belongings in a 1931 Chevrolet sedan. They arrived in Sequim; but
by September, they were living in Port Angeles, where Jim started first grade at Washington School. In
July of 1946, the Thomsen family moved back to Sequim. For the next 10 years, his dad, Jim, and his
brothers milked cows.
Jim graduated from Sequim High School in 1953 and went to work for Pearson’s Grocery for two years.
He then worked at three totally unrelated jobs – first as a barber in Port Angeles for 13 years, including
co-ownership of a barber shop (Gabe and Jim’s) with Gabe Schmidt; then for the Port of Port Angeles for
nine years. In 1978 he went to work for UPS as a driver, retiring in 1998, with 18 years of his route being
in the Sequim area.
He married Barbara Wippel, a 1955 Sequim High School graduate, on August 19, 1956, together raising
four children: Christopher, Gregory, Dina, and Erin. After living in several homes in Port Angeles, they
built their family home on Black Diamond Road in 1973. There were many years of enjoyment there
with vegetable gardens, horses, dogs, cats, and pigs. It was a good place for the pigs, as they had
previously kept them (along with the piano) in the garage at their rental house on Peabody Street while
their home was being built. The resident rabbits had died earlier from eating a poisonous houseplant.
Jim was always very involved with his children and his church. He became Catholic and joined Queen of
Angels Church when he was 22 years old. He was one of the first group of Eucharistic Ministers. He was
also a member of the Hosanna Prayer Group, the Saturday Night Choir, Parish Council, teaching CCD
(religious ed) classes, fundraising, the Queen of Angels School Board, and many others.
He was always willing to hitch up the horse trailer and drive his daughters (actively involved in 4-H) to
fairs and horse shows. He helped with Cub Scout campouts; loved playing baseball with the kids in the
back yard; and attended, watched, chaperoned, and drove his sons and many others to “hundreds” of
After 30 years of marriage, Barbara died of pancreatic cancer on August 14, 1987.
Commencing another phase of his life, he married Marci Shiel, whom he knew from church, on
December 30, 1988. Jim and Marci enjoyed 33 years together. They continued being active at Queen of
Angels. They enjoyed family activities, going to musicals at the Paramount in Seattle, dining out,
traveling to Europe when their daughter Dina was living in Monte Carlo and to Kansas City, MO to visit
son Christopher’s family. (He had previously traveled to Denmark to meet up with son Gregory, who was
traveling in Europe.) For many years they hosted the family “Pasture Party” when family members came
in their RV’s and trailers and parked in the pasture for several days. Jim fulfilled his dream of visiting the
Baseball Hall of Fame when he travelled to New York in 2011 with Gregory and Greg’s father-in-law to
see grandson Cody play in the Cooperstown baseball tournament. Jim and Marci also enjoyed traveling
to visit friends and relatives in Washington and Oregon, as well as Victoria, Canada. They also cherished
time spent with local friends.
Jim was a gentle man (except when watching the Mariners or Seahawks when they were not playing
well). He was always a “dapper dresser” and never felt completely dressed unless he was carrying a
clean, pressed handkerchief. He had a great sense of humor, a gentle smile, a lovely singing voice, was
always willing to help others, and was a wonderful example of what a husband and father should be.
He is survived by his wife Marcile (Marci) Thomsen; his children Christopher (Lisa) of Port Angeles,
Gregory (Rhonda) of Seattle, Dina of Redmond, and Erin of Sammamish, Washington. He is also survived
by grandchildren Soren (Sierra), Seth, Hendrik, Lydia (Sean Mitchell), and Cody. His first great-grandson,
Charles, was born August 18 of this year. Also surviving are his brother Larry Thomsen (Tacoma) and
sisters-in-law Janis Thomsen (Sequim) and Joann Paulsen (Renton), sister-in-law and brother-in-law
Mary and Jon Raymond (AZ), along with numerous other aunts, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was predeceased by his first wife Barbara Thomsen, parents Aage and Ida Thomsen, his brothers
Einer and Robert Thomsen, brother-in-law Bob Paulsen, and sister-in-law Delores Thomsen.
Special thanks to family, friends, and “friends of friends” who helped Marci care for Jim during the last
week of his life. The “right people” showed up at the “right time.” Also thanks to friends from church
who were so helpful before and after. As a friend once told Marci, “It is in the comings and the goings
that the Church most manifests the loving hand of our Creator.”
We will miss him greatly, but we know we will see him later.
A Funeral Mass will be held at Queen of Angels Church at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, October 13, 2022, with a
reception following. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Queen of Angels School
(Attention: Kara), 1007 S. Oak St., Port Angeles, WA 98362, or to a favorite charity.