James Zahl Lindblom, 90, of Battle Ground, Wash., went for a walk at his farm the afternoon of Dec. 28, 2020, then he lay down on the lawn and went to Heaven. He was born in Morris, Minn., and grew up in various small towns in Minnesota until the family moved to Neah Bay, Wash., in 1948.
He matriculated at Seattle Pacific College at that time, graduating with a bachelor of science degree in health and physical science in 1952. He earned a master's degree in education from the University of Portland in 1962. Like his parents, he became a teacher, spending most of his 31 year career teaching math and science, and coaching football at the junior high level in the Vancouver School District. He also coached one of the first soccer teams in Vancouver at Mcloughlin Junior High.
Jim met his future wife, Lois, in 1946, at Alberta, Minn., when he was 16 years old and she was a 14 year old piano playing farmer's daughter. She thought she was leaving the farm life permanently in 1951, when she married Jim, a member of the United States National Guard, who planned to become a teacher. However, after retiring from teaching in 1980, he became a chicken farmer, moving her to the countryside north of Battle Ground. He raised fryers for Lynden Farms and Foster Farms for over 20 years, winning awards as top Washington grower in 1984, and top small farm in 1985 and 1989.
Jim was a devout, life-long Christian. He frequently taught Sunday School to adults, was President of the Nazarene Young People's Society (NYPS) for several years at Hillcrest Church of the Nazarene in Vancouver, Wash., and was secretary of the church board there for decades. He was a member of Pleasant View Church of the Nazarene in Ridgefield, Wash., at the time of his passing. Some of his hobbies over the years included bowling, golfing, scuba diving with his brothers and son, and fervently following sports teams, especially the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle Seahawks. He was also an avid reader, enjoying current newspapers and magazines, biographies, and history. Most recently, his favorites included books about the war in the Pacific and books by Garrison Keillor. Jim laughed out loud and thoroughly enjoyed Keillor's new autobiography, That Time of Year: A Minnesota Life, reading it in its entirety the last week of his life.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Gus and Sophia Lindblom; and his son-in-law, Joe Childs.
Jim is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Lois Mae (Lang) Lindblom; his daughter, Naomi (Nikki) Childs Dillon and son-in-law, Jerry of Snoqualmie, Wash.; daughter, Mary Lindblom Dennis and son-in-law, Kevin of Nampa, Idaho; and son, Thomas James Lindblom of Battle Ground; as well as brothers, John and David, who were his best friends and who also followed him into teaching; their wives, Nancy and Milli (respectively); and several neices and nephews and their spouses and children, many of whom have continued the tradition of the teaching Lindblom family. Other survivors include his five grandchildren: Beth Childs, Katie Zawadzki, Christopher Dennis, Nicholas Dennis, and Jordan Lindblom. Great-grandchildren, Saffron Yates, Violet Dennis-Borgan, and Riley Lindblom, were a delight to him in recent years. Great-grandpa Jim was well loved by his great-grandchildren; his special touch with crying babies and young children never went away.
A true introvert by nature, Jim Lindblom was a respected, quiet, calm, generous, and loving man who will be greatly missed.