James Henry Karl Gillette was born Oct. 4, 1980 in Vancouver, Washington and passed away Sept. 25, 2021 in Burlington, Washington at age 40 due to complications of diabetes.
James graduated from Battle Ground High School in 1999 and continued on to graduate from Washington State University-Pullman in 2003. In his youth, James enjoyed football, baseball, hockey and begrudgingly participated in Norwegian folk dancing with Sons of Norway. While at WSU, he competed on the logging sports team. After graduating, he worked in the field of power plant operation, living various places throughout Washington state. In 2019, he purchased a home and settled in Burlington, Washington.
Though he lived at a distance, James was close with his family. He loved to offer words of “wisdom” to his nieces and nephews, most of which were not appropriate for sharing with their mothers.
James had a love and talent for music. He played the upright bass and rhythm guitar for a band called Honky Tonk Drifters, once opening for Merle Haggard. James enjoyed collecting musical instruments, which also served a dual purpose as furniture in some of his earlier homes.
His more recent hobbies include cheering on the Las Vegas Knights and enjoying the Bellagio Fountain with his partner, Stacey.
We will all miss James’s quick wit, inappropriate sense of humor, ability to eat a drumstick in one bite, and enjoyment of good food and cooking. We will never forget how he conquered his “Everest” in 2006, enjoying a 72 ounce steak at Saylors in Portland.
James is survived by his parents Karen and Bob Glafka and Henry Gillette; partner Stacey Wold and her family; siblings Melinda (David) Nute, Jolene (Brian) Taylor, Gregory (Christina) Gillette and Lewis Gillette; nieces and nephews Hanna, Kyle, Adam, Evan and Lyla; step-siblings Mike (MaryBeth), Kris (Brett) and Jennifer (Steve); numerous uncles, aunts, cousins and friends who James loved very much. To honor James’s wishes, his family will have a private service. James shared with his family that he has been practicing “social distancing” for years, always ahead of his time.