My Grandfather’s Obituary

James Patrick Tolan
James Patrick ‘Jim’ Tolan
March 26, 1934-Dec. 12, 2007
James Patrick “Jim” Tolan, 73, died Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007 at his home in Hermiston. Recitation of the rosary will be held on Friday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at Burns Mortuary Chapel in Hermiston. A memorial mass will be held on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church in Hermiston. Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Tolan was born March 26, 1934 in Long Beach, Calif. to Harry and Helen (Bertleson) Tolan. He lived in Long Beach, Ellensburg and Wallula, Wash., and in Echo, where he graduated in 1954. He played basketball on Echo’s 1953 state championship team and played in the East/West Shrine game as a senior in 1954.

He married Dorothy Jean Shockman in 1954. She died in 1973.

He worked for U.S. Gypsum in Pilot Rock, at the Creamery in Hermiston, as a self-employed meat cutter in Stanfield, as a meat cutter at a grocery store in Milton-Freewater, for Hill Meat in Stanfield, at a grocery store in Pilot Rock, and then back to Hermiston as a bookkeeper for Shockman Brothers and at the Hermiston Herald before health problems forced retirement. After retiring, he worked for Eastern Oregon Mobile Slaughter part-time.

He married Sue (Ammons) Owens in Hermiston in 1981. In 1989 he received a heart transplant. Jim enjoyed hunting, fishing, and wood cutting.

He is survived by his wife, Sue Tolan of Hermiston; sons John Tolan of La Grande, Casey Tolan of Hermiston, and Scott Owens of Riggins, Idaho; daughters Colleen LaFrance of Colorado Springs, Colo., Lori Shaw of Lake Stevens, Wash., Deb Harris of Bend, Lisa Lilly of St. Joseph, Mo., and Karla Wenning of Keizer; brother Bill Tolan of San Francisco; sisters Myrna Garvey of Ellensburg, Wash., Marjorie Galloway of Kennewick, Wash., Sonja Gulliver of Saginaw, Mich., and Pat Tolan of Kennewick, Wash.; 21 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife Dorothy; and sister Maureen Duncan.

Memorial contributions may be made to Vange John Memorial Hospice, 1050 W. Elm Ave. Ste. 220, Hermiston, OR 97838 or to the Echo Quarterback Club, P.O. Box 54, Echo, OR 97826.

Photos of Baby Sadie

Sadie and Mommy are doing great. Photos have been posted here:

We may be coming home on Sunday, but definately by Monday.

Two Days To Go

Friday morning at 9:00, we are scheduled to welcome the newest member of our family. I have been stressed out lately trying to prepare for both the new addition and possibly not being able to work as much as I normally do for a couple weeks while Christie recovers. Sean will be taking over most of my responsibilities at BootsnAll for a few days, which will be great. I appreciate how well he treats me…even if I am a major pain sometimes.

Look for more updates here over the next few days as things settle out. I should be able to get pics online by the end of the day Friday and will post some here.

Looks like a Girl

Christie had an ultrasound yesterday and it looks like the new baby is going to be a girl. I’m pretty excited. Part of me wishes we were having a boy, but Mackenzie has been so great that I can see another girl making things even better. It just sucks to be me because I’ll be sharing a house with 3 women 😐

Being a Good Father

Just read these articles about Earl Woods (Tiger’s dad) and couldn’t help but think that I hope that I can be near as good a father to Mackenzie and the new baby…

Earl was right all along

Earl was a teacher, philosopher, warrior and friend


Looks official to me – we’re going to have another one.

Merry Christmas 2005

Christmas 2005 has now come and is pretty much gone. This year didn’t seem much like Christmas time to me until this past Friday. Partially, it is the lack of decorations around the house as we are getting ready to sell it. I have also just been so busy with so many different things going on in my life that I haven’t really had time to stop and reflect on things. This coming week, I’m going to try and relax a little before going full speed into 2006.

Today was a pretty good day overall. We found out that my sister is now engaged to her long-time boyfriend, Tony. He’s Greek and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. I got some pretty cool new toys to play with and several new clothing items that I really wanted. Jayson bought me a new cooling head for my r/c car and we took them out in the desert to run them around. It definately makes a big difference keeping the engine quite a bit cooler. After dinner, we sat on the back patio, started a fire in our little chiminea and I decided to find out just how flammable r/c car nitro fuel is…quite a fun little experiment, but probably wasn’t the best of ideas.

I’m having a blast working with BootsnAll. Sean, Donovan, and Court are all on a Tanzania adventure trip getting ready to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I wish I was with them. Most likely I will attempt to go on the trip next summer.

Merry Christmas to you all and best wishes for 2006.

Mackenzie Turns 2


I can’t believe it was just over two years ago that my daughter Mackenzie was born. That was one of the scariest and happiest days of my life. With all of the ups and downs of the night while Christie was in labor…eventually leading into a cesarian section…it was scary seeing my wife and best friend going through that pain and suffering. Once I was able to hold Mackenzie, those thoughts turned to amazement at the fact that we created her and I was now responsible for another person. It’s a difficult feeling to explain. Those of you with kids can understand…those without have something wonderful to look forward to if you ever plan to have kids.

The past two years have been amazing. We couldn’t ask for a better daughter. It is strange to think that the helpless little baby we brought home back then is now walking around, talking, and running the house. Some days it is obvious that she is my daughter (grumpy, temper)…some days it’s obvious that she’s Christie’s (clean freak, bossy).

It will probably be another couple of years before we have another. I think Christie and I both feel that it would be great to have at least one more…just not yet.

Vacation Recap

I’m sitting here in the BootsnAll offices trying to get caught back up with the real world after running around Oregon, Washington, and Idaho for the past week. Here’s a rundown on what went on:

Tuesday, April 19th ::

Called mom to tell her that I decided to drive up and meet them in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. She checked to see if there were any tickets available for using frequent flyer miles so that I wouldn’t take Christie’s car for the week. There was a ticket available for flying into Portland, Oregon which was perfect because I wanted to meet up with the guys at BootsnAll in Portland anyway.

Wednesday, April 20th ::

Christie dropped me off at the airport in the morning and I flew from PHX to LAX…then LAX to PDX. I picked up a Chevy Trailblazer at PDX and proceeded to pick mom and dad up from PSC. We spent the night in Pasco, Washington.

Thurdsay, April 21st ::

Mom, dad, and I drove to Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Dad and I spent part of the day helping a friend of his to get ready for people who were coming in for Kjelsty’s wedding. Kjelsty is a friend of mine from when I was a kid. Her parents and my parents are really good friends. Levi, her father, passed away recently and we all wanted to be there for her big day. That night, we went to O’Shay’s Irish Pub in Coeur d’ Alene for a party with a bunch of Kjelsty and Glenn’s (the groom) friends. Many of them played music and everyone had fun. I hung out for part of the night with Kjelsty’s sister Tansy. She was stressed out about leaving her kids at home with her husband, so I tried to keep her entertained.

Friday, April 22nd ::

We spent the morning in Coeur d’ Alene. Breakfast was great at Rustler’s Roost. After breakfast and helping out at Levi and Diane’s house in the morning, we drove up to Athol. Mom stayed in Athol and visited with friends while Dad and I went up to cut some trees at another of his friends’ houses. That night we hung around the American Legion and Pastime in Athol. Went to bed in Coeur d Alene at 2:00 AM.

Saturday, April 23rd ::

Breakfast at Rustler’s Roost again. Spent more time north of Athol helping some friends. Kjelsty’s wedding was scheduled for 3:00 PM. It started late, but was really cool. Kjelsty, her friends, and her family are very creative people. The wedding was at Greenbriar Inn in Coeur d’ Alene. After the wedding I met up with an old friend of mine and went bar hopping until 2:00 AM in Post Falls, Idaho. From there, we went to Denny’s for food. Went to bed around 4:00 AM in Coeur d’ Alene.

Sunday, April 24th ::

After 4 hours of sleep, we left for Hermiston, Oregon. Spent the afternoon at a barbecue with family and stayed with my grandparents in Hermiston.

Monday, April 25th ::

Met up with some of my parents’ friends in Pendleton, Oregon. Drove over to Walla Walla, Washington and sampled some wine that is made there. I’ve decided that I just don’t like wine…can’t figure out what’s so great about it. I’d much rather have a good beer at a fraction of the cost.

Tuesday, April 26th (Today) ::

Dropped mom and dad off at PSC this morning and drove to Portland. Have had the pleasure of meeting Court, Donovan, Matt, and Dave here at BootsnAll. Hopefully a couple of us will go out tonight or something. Chris has to leave early tomorrow morning for New York, so I may spend part of the day touring the area if I don’t hang around the office here.