JAMES ARTHUR SEMSEN

James Arthur Semsen, loved and loving father and a former resident of Auburn, passed away at the age of 95 on December 26, 2017.

He grew up in San Francisco and served in the Signal Corps under the command of General Eisenhower during the Second World War. After the war he studied agricultural engineering at Oregon State College where he met his first wife, Kathleen (Kay) Lee; and in 1948 he accepted a job with the International Harvester Company and settled in Portland, Oregon, where his three children were born. Several years after Kay’s death in 1971 he married Laila Peterson, and he and Laila retired to Mesa, Arizona in 1984. After Laila’s death in 1989 he returned to the Northwest and eventually settled in Auburn, where he lived with his daughter Kim until she passed away in 2016. For the last two years he resided in Kennewick, Washington.

Jim was preceded in death by his first wife Kay, his second wife Laila, his daughter Kim, his great-granddaughter Savanna, his sister Aubra Berry, and his niece Anne Gundel. He is survived by his son Lee (m. Patricia) of Richland, his son Walter (m. Kerry) of Twain Harte, California, his stepsons Ralph (m. Sharon) and David Peterson; his niece Christine Pollock and her son John; his grandchildren Daniel (m. Christy) Semsen, John (m. Bobby) Semsen, Melanie (m. Jarrod) Schockow, April (m. Royce) Corum, and David (m. Karen) Fish; and his great-grandchildren Nathaniel, Noah, Kaitlyn, Nevaeh, and Patience Semsen; Quinn and Coen Schockow; Tyler and Jackson Corum; and Justin, Jordan, and Janae Fish. His fourteenth great-grandchild, Hanna Semsen, was born on January 26th, exactly a month after Jim’s death.

A memorial for Jim will be scheduled in Auburn later this year on a date to be determined. Remembrances may be sent to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, his favorite charity.


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