CATHLAMET James John (Jim) Gatens passed away Feb. 10, 2013, at home surrounded by loved ones. More commonly known as Gator, he was born March 28, 1937, in Nemah to James Francis (Frank) Gatens and Lucy Slater. In 1958 he married Marilyn Head, they later divorced but had three beautiful daughters.
Gator began his logging career at the age of 8, working with his father and continued logging in many capacities working for several companies for another 32 years. He began commercial fishing in Alaska in the early 1960s and continued his love of fishing for 52 years, making his last tuna trip just a few months before his passing. Jim gillnetted in Bristol Bay, the Columbia River and Willapa Bay but also trolled for salmon and fished tuna.
Jim was a lifetime member of the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge. He loved traveling by motor home with his co-pilot, Lawanna, visiting family and friends and spending 21 winters in Arizona.
Jim is survived by two daughters, Shari Hughes (Kyle Parker) and Lori Kensinger (Scott) both of Cathlamet; 10 grandchildren, three and one-half great-grandchildren; his brothers, Tom Gatens and Bob Hedlund; a half-sister Pat Davis, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Linda Benton of Kodiak, Alaska; his brothers, Bill Gatens of Waldport Ore., and Pat Gatens of Naselle; a sister, Donna Klint of Deep River and the love of his life, Lawanna Olson of Sand Point, Idaho.
A celebration of life will be held from noon to 3 p.m., on Saturday, March 2, at the Moose Lodge in Ocean Park. You are welcome to bring and share your favorite dish and Gator stories to this casual event. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Loyal Order of Moose Lodge No. 2362.