James Jene Seeliger

December 11, 1933—November 11, 2020

James Jene (JJ) Seeliger died peacefully in his home on November 11, 2020.

Jim was born to Charles (Swede) and Margaret (Foster) Seeliger on December 11, 1933, in the old St. Mary’s Hospital.  The family lived in Hermiston, Oregon for 10 years, moving back to Walla Walla in 1943.  Jim attended St. Patrick grade school and graduated from St. Patrick High school in 1953.  

JJ was drafted in the Army in 1954, serving most of his 2 years in Germany.  JJ was honorably discharged in 1956.  Jim married Patty Joan Porter in 1957 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Walla Walla.  They moved to Pasco for 2 years where Jim  attended CBC for 2 years and graduated in 1958.  He went on to work for Continental Can Company but due to an injury he went on to work at Washington State Penitentiary.  JJ only intended to work there for 6 months to a year, but continued to work there until the age of 51, retiring after 30 years in 1990, as a Correctional Officer.  JJ went on to work as a Correctional Construction Escort for WSP for 21 years, retiring in 2010. Jim and Patty raised four daughters Lori, Shelley, Jody and Terri. While working full-time Jim also worked part-time for Tompkins Appliance, to ensure that his children received a Catholic Education.

One of the family favorite traditions every summer was vacationing in Seaside, Oregon; the tradition still carries on today with their daughters and their families.   Jim was a member of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, he also belonged to the Knights of Columbus, Desales Booster Club, the Elks, and the VFW. Jim was a devout supporter of DeSales Catholic High School attending many sporting events and if unable to attend listened to the game on the radio. Jim loved watching his nine grandchildren participate in sports: volleyball, wrestling, basketball, track, dance, football and softball along with jazz concerts and church functions.  After all of the grandchildren graduated, Jim and Patty continued to attend many DeSales games, functions and fundraisers throughout the years. Jim was a hard worker, and loved tinkering in his shop.  Jim enjoyed having coffee with the “Boys” at Tony’s Sub shop. Upon retirement, Jim and Patty enjoyed traveling to Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Panama Canal and Florida Keys, whale watching, and viewing the fall colors on the U.S. East Coast, as well as going on fun trips to California and touring the Western U.S.  Jim and Patty continued to vacation in Seaside, as it was one of their favorite places to visit. Jim and Patty were married for 63 years upon her passing on March 8, 2019.

One of his greatest loves was the visits from children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jim was a wonderful dad, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend!

Jim was preceded in death by his wife Patty; his parents; step-father, Bernie Heumphreus; brothers, Chuck and John Seeliger; and step-sisters, Barbara Locati and Maryilyn Waldrip.  Jim is survived by his children: Lori Brewer (Chris), Shelley Jones (Monty), Jody Yancey (Judd), Terri Ferrel (Greg); nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; his brother, Stanley Seeliger; and many nieces and nephews.

The Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be held December 18, at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church at 10:00 AM; the Memorial Mass will follow at 11:00. Urn placement will be at the Mountain View Cemetery, Memory Garden. Friends and family are invited to sign the virtual guestbook at www.Herringgroseclose.com. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Society or the DeSales Booster Club through Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W Alder St., Walla Walla, WA 99362.