James Robert Mort

Former Grays River, Wash. resident, 71James R. Mort, 71, of Port Orchard, Wash. died June 9, 2004 in Spokane, Wash. while returning from vacation.

Mr. Mort was born July 2, 1932 in Lima, Ohio to Ralph and Olive Wood Mort. In 1936, the family moved to San Francisco, Calif., where his father found steady work during the Great Depression. Mr. Mort grew up in the Bay area and graduated from San Mateo (Calif.) High School in 1950.

Soon after graduating from high school, Mr. Mort married Jackie Whelan. They settled in Springfield, where he worked at a paper mill. Returning to California four years later, they settled in Rocklin where he worked construction and rode and raced motorcycles with his friend, Don Miller. The couple divorced in 1970 and Jackie Mort died in 1988.

In 1971, Mr. Mort married Marian Baker and a year later they moved to the Olympic (Wash.) Peninsula area, where he worked in cedar mills, fished commercially and drove a truck. In 1980, he began driving a log truck in the Rosburg-Grays River (Wash.) area, and eventually moved there with his family. His wife, Marian, died in 1997.

Family members say his years as a long-haul truck driver sparked his interest in traveling. Following his retirement, he moved to Port Orchard, and he and his friend, Jan Grosso, traveled all over the United States, visiting children and grandchildren and attending sports events and fairs with them.

Mr. Mort was a member of the Eagles lodge. He served as a volunteer firefighter for over 20 years in Rocklin and Grays River, as a reserve deputy for the Wahkiakum County (Wash.) Sheriff's Department for over 20 years and as a reserve officer for the Rocklin Police Department. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and sports and could fix almost anything.

Mr. Mort is survived by nine children and their spouses: Linda and Gene Strong, Connie and Dennis Nagasawa, and Larry and Ditas Baker, all of Rosburg, Wash.; Sharon and Dave Zellar of Forks, Wash.; Robin Benn of Modesto, Calif.; Stacy and Art Brewer of Caddo, Okla.; Scott and Patty Pease of Oakland, Calif.; and Vykee Larson of San Diego, Calif.; a sister, Sue Manson; a companion, Jan Grosso, of Port Orchard; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and his cat, Taz.

A memorial service is 11 a.m. Saturday at Naselle Assembly of God Church in Naselle, Wash., with Pastor Richard Cary officiating. A luncheon reception follows. Burial is private at Seal River Cemetery in Rosburg. Memorials may be made either to Wahkiakum County Fire Protection District #3 or Clallam County 4-H Leaders Council in care of Penttila's Chapel by The Sea, P.O. Box 417, Long Beach, WA 98631.


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