James Gordon Wamble

July 21, 1924 —  June 27, 2019

James born on July 21, 1924, in Walla Walla, to Clifton “Wicks” Wamble and Gladys Wamble (nee Brotherton) and died June 27, 2019, at Park Manor in Walla Walla.

Jim grew up in Starbuck and Walla Walla, attended Baker Elementary School and Wa-Hi, graduating in 1942. He attended Whitman College, enlisted in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged, attaining rank of Staff Sergeant.

Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from  Washington State College and married Delpha May Loney,  Jan. 31, 1948, at the Christian Church in Walla Walla. A son, Casey, was born July 7, 1951.

Jim started teaching, first in Lind, WA and then in Kittitas, WA. Moving his family to Eugene, Ore, where he completed his Masters in Education.

A son, Kelly, was born in Eugene, December 8, 1955. He then moved his family to Portland, Ore., and  joined Hyster Company as a Training Supervisor, for whom he travelled frequently to Peoria, Ill.

He and Delpha loved to dance and belonged to a social club in Portland, where he coached Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball, became enamored of golf and hiked with Delpha and the boys to Eagle Creek.

Always a teacher of unusual talent and insight he returned to play his considerable skills at Parkrose Heights Junior High in Portland and soon established Jim Wamble and Associates, a management consulting firm. His clients included Pacific Co-op, Poor Richard’s Restaurant and Holman Transfer.

Eventually Jim quit teaching to pursue consulting full time. He also started Recoupco, a ground-breaking recycling enterprise in Portland.

In 1979, he and his wife Delpha moved back to Walla Walla, where he began his career at Wa-Hi, where he taught English and ran the Drama Dept., producing “The Wiz” in the 80s, inspiring actors of the future and torturing local kids with twirly tongue twisters.

Jim retired from teaching in 1989 to pursue the Tenor Saxophone. He and his combo entertained at parties, the Mall, the Country Club and nursing homes throughout Walla Walla. He was a wit and a raconteur. He loved taking walks, dancing, playing golf, playing his horn and serenading Delpha with   “A Pretty Girl is Like Melody”

Though stricken with dementia in his final years, he remained discerning but cheerful and loved to hold peoples’ hands.

He is survived by two sons, Casey Wamble and his wife Arissa Rench and Kelly Wamble and his wife, Katy Wamble (nee Donohue); two grandchildren, Stephanie Heitstuman and Emily Wamble. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Delpha; and his sister, June Matthews of Santa Cruz, Calif.; and his parents, Clifton “Wicks” Wamble and Gladys Wamble (nee Brotherton).

Service will be held on July 9, 2019, at 2 p.m. at the Marcus Whitman Hotel, Renaissance Room.

Memorial contributions may be made to the WaHi Drama Department.

Recommended for you