In Memory

Jim Wilson

Jim Wilson

(Notice from Dave Hibberd)

WILSON, James Keith James Keith Wilson, 68 years old, passed away holding the hand of his true love in Rochester, MN on January 28, 2021. He was born to Leroy Keith Wilson and Margaret West in Idaho Falls, ID on February 29, 1952. He was married in the Salt Lake Temple to Kathrine Beth Smith on August 23, 1974. Jim is survived by his loving wife Kathy and their nine children and 38 grandchildren. Jim and Kathy's children and spouses are: Thomas Wilson (Kristen), Steven Wilson (Kim), Amy Holding (Kirk), Jenny Nygard (Eric), Jackie King (Nolan), Jon Wilson (Diana), Sara Wilson (Currently available; Jim says no one is good enough), Mary Wood (Parker), and Leslie Tagg (Tanner). He is also survived by his mother Margaret, his sisters Elizabeth and Margaret, and his brother Steven. His family was his pride and joy. Jim graduated from Skyline High School in 1970 and served an LDS church mission to Tahiti from 1971-1973. Upon his return, he met and married the love of his life, Kathrine Wilson, and they were married in 1974. Jim graduated from BYU in 1977 with a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering, and with a Master's in Computer Science. He had a circuitous route through many prominent companies over the next several decades as a world-class engineer, including Hewlett Packard, Lucasfilm, and Pixar, working closely with the likes of George Lucas and Steve Jobs along the way. He then followed his entrepreneurial drive to a series of startups throughout the '90s, raising millions of dollars in VC funding for a startup idea. In the end, he decided that Kathy would be his only boss as he settled in Liberty Lake, Washington, and started an Internet Service Provider called Ptera. In the early years, Jim would work several consulting jobs just to generate the funds to keep his company alive. He would eventually find success, and together with one of his sons, he built up the largest locally based internet service provider in the Inland Northwest. Ptera was named Medium Business of the Year in the Greater Spokane area in 2015 and continues to grow and find success based on the Core Values that Jim instilled into the company when he started it out of his basement in 2001. Jim loves the local community, and without any fanfare has donated thousands of months of internet connections for customers with hardships where a free internet connection could be useful. Jim could be seen every morning working out at the gym, and he enjoyed playing City League volleyball with his daughter and her husband for the last 10 years. Jim loved to travel, and he loved to learn new things. He was fluent in Tahitian and French, and conversational in several other languages. Jim has left a legacy of loving to learn and has never let school get in the way of a good education as he has always supported continued learning and growing as a part of everyday life. Of all of his successes and accomplishments, the ones that he would be most proud of are to be called a good son, a good husband, a good father, a good brother, a good friend, and a good and peaceable follower of Christ. He was preceded in death by his son, Walter Raymond Wilson, his father, Leroy Keith Wilson, and his grandson Andrew Josiah Nygard. The celebration of his life will be Saturday, February 6th, 2021 at 11:00 am with a viewing at 10:00 am prior at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1670 N McGuire Rd, Post Falls, ID 83854. If you can't make it in person, please visit the service section on Jim's Bell Tower Funeral home memorial page for the Zoom info. Please send flowers to Bell Tower Funeral Home at 3398 E Jenalan Ave, Post Falls, ID 83854. If you want to send cards or donations to Kathy, please send them to P.O. Box 213, Liberty Lake, WA 99019, or Venmo @Kathy-Wilson-63.

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02/06/21 05:49 PM #1    

Rick Clegg

I was shocked to hear of Jim's passing. As one of his partners in crime as cheerleaders I came to know him well our senior year. He was fairly quiet which was not the norm of our group, but he could tumble better than any of us. He always made me want to do better. He was a great soul who was kind and gentle to the core. Simply put, he was a wonderful person and it was my privilege to rub shoulders with him.

02/07/21 10:33 AM #2    

Darwin Ross

Such a disappointment to find out about Jim's passing, but such a pleasure to hear of his life well-lived. We had many classes together at Skyline and, if I remember correctly, we even tried out for freshman football together. He was a great guy! Electrical engineering is a challenging field, as is digital infrastructure; so, we know he was a brilliant guy, as well. He will be missed.

02/07/21 12:18 PM #3    

Russ Brown

Jim remained a great friend during undergraduate school and thereafter professionally. I am saddened to learn of his passing.

02/07/21 12:42 PM #4    

Todd Tanner

Jim was a good friend at school but when we renewed our acquaintance at one of the Skyline reunions, I discovered he had built a successful WISP (wireless internet service provider) from the ground up. Shortly thereafter I was tasked with turning around a similar operation in Maryland and PA. I retained Jim to assist in the process and with his advice we were able make the operation a great success, shaving years off the learning curve. Through it all, and especially when we met up at the various industry conferences, Jim would regal me with his family stories. That was his real joy. When he spoke of his brilliant wife, beautiful children and grandchildren he would light up. I hope they find comfort in the knowledge that he loved them unconditionally.

02/07/21 04:44 PM #5    

Marsha Dott Egan (Ralphs)

Dear sweet jim - the four couples who “cheered and sang together we’re from Skyline” are less now. You were a soft spoken guy. I recall only kindness about you. I loved seeing your family pictures and your cute Kathy! I had not pegged you to be a tough business man but good on ya! I am now serving in England as a missionary with my love - Elder Ralphs! We are totally endeavoring to give our all to God. Hopefully building the kingdom a bit along the way. May your loved ones be comforted and continue your memory with stories and family home evenings forever! I will continue to scatter sunshine here as you hear the “well done though good and faithful servant” said by our Savior. Well done Jim.- Marsha dott Egan Ralphs /cheerleader buddy and friend




02/07/21 06:14 PM #6    

David Hibberd

I didn't know Jim at Skyline. I first learned about him from the Classmates in Washington page and when checking out those classmates found that Jim lived in Spokane. Then I discovered we were both in the Spokane Valley Stake. It was at a stake Scouting meeting that I first met him and introduced myself to him as a fellow Skyline High class of 70 graduate. He was surprised to learn that a fellow grad was in his stake. That was many years after our graduation and 750 miles from Salt Lake. 

03/04/21 08:46 PM #7    

Victor Checketts

i was truly saddened when i heard about the passing of jim..he was a great cheerleader, and really gave our athletic teams the extra boost to help us win our championship in 1969..i have no doubt that he will be missed but his spirit will always be with us whenever we sing "cheer and sing together we're from skyline" god bless you jim and your wonderful family 

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