James E. “Jim” Loudon, a 64 year resident of the Wenatchee Valley, died January 2, 2021. He was born in Wenatchee on June 27, 1929 to Edgar J. and Mary Loudon. They resided in Manson, WA, on an orchard until 1939, then moved to Wenatchee for a year and a half, then move to Carlton, WA. He graduated from Twisp High School in 1947, where he participated in all sports and was student body president. Following high school, he entered Washington State College, graduating in 1951. He remained at WSC, working for the college and earning a master’s degree in Agriculture Economics in 1953. His master’s thesis was on “The Economics of Storing Red Delicious Apples in CA Storage” four years before the onset of commercial CA storage by Marley Orchards of Yakima and a year later by Ed Lovitt of Wenatchee.
Jim married Betty Campbell of Clarkston, WA, December 20, 1953. In 1955 daughter Linda Kay was born at McChord Air Force Base followed by Pamela Jean in 1956 and Kathleen Ann in 1959 in Wenatchee. Jim served as a supply officer in the U.S Air Force from 1954-1956 and stayed in the Air Force Reserve, retiring as a major in 1975.
Jim went to work as assistant manager of the Washington Growers Clearing House in 1956 and initiated several innovations, including the first annual price summary in 1957. He was hired as assistant sales manager at Skookum Packers in 1959 and in 1965 was employed by Washington Fruit Growers, Inc., as general manager. He retained that position for 22 years until Washington Fruit Growers merged with Blue Bird Co-op in 1987. Jim owned an orchard in E. Wenatchee from 1961-1968 and in Wenatchee from 1968-2006. Starting in 1990, Jim took several consulting assignments including some in Poland, Belarus and Russia. The Russian assignment was especially interesting in that it was in the same city, Saratov, near where his mother was born.
Jim served seventeen years on the board of directors of Northwest Wholesale including two years as president. He was a former member and president of the East Wenatchee Rotary Club and a member of the Wenatchee Rotary Club with a perfect attendance at both clubs, a total of 38 years. He was a member of the Retired Officers Association, Wenatchee Fly Fishing Club and the WSU Alumni Association.
Jim’s hobbies included fishing, traveling, photography, hunting, boating, playing cards and watching sports on TV. For the past year Jim enjoyed writing about the early fruit industry. From 1989-2006, Jim and Betty spent part of their winters in Yuma, AZ, including three years in Baja, Mexico. He continued wintering in Arizona after Betty died and met Mavis Danielson there. In June 2011 he married her at Camrose, Alberta.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife Betty in 2006, his brother Wally Loudon and his parents, Ed and Mary Loudon. He is survived by his wife Mavis, his daughters: Linda Hightower (Keith) of Malaga , Pam Earnest (Steve) of Aberdeen, and Kathy McCary (Doug) of Kirkland, his sister Idella Rempel of Keizer, OR, his brother Merle (Sylvia) of Omak, his sister-in-law Shirley Loudon of Wenatchee, sister-in-law Rella Osborne (George) of Spokane Valley, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his nine grandchildren: Julee Ryle (Matt), Serena LeBeau (Aaron) Sarah Brown (Ross), Scott Earnest (Michelle), Troy Earnest, Phil McCary (Dani), Colleen Evans (James), Ben McCary (Becca), and David McCary (Nicolette) and seventeen great grandchildren. He is also survived by his Canadian step daughters Val Okimaw (Mel), Sandy Borgel (Wade) and Cheryl Rempel (Kim) and his eight step grandchildren and nine step great grandchildren.
Jim lived at Colonial Vista the past few years and appreciated his friends and the loving care he received there. The family greatly appreciates the care he received from his heath care providers and care givers.
Arrangements are from Chapel of the Valley. A private family burial was held at the Wenatchee Cemetery and a Celebration of Life is planned for later when we can gather together and honor our father, grandpa, and friend.