Monday, September 01, 2014

Jim Zuanich

Services will be held for longtime SEAS member and very active SEAS board member Jim Zuanich, FV Marshall Tito, Bellingham, September 12th at the boathouse at Zuanich Point Park at Squalicum Boat harbor in Bellingham.

Jim Z. was an incredible man, brainiac, political activist and an incredible part of he SEAS team both in the 5 terms served on the board and the 5 terms served off the board throughout the 80s,90s and until this past spring, when Jim joined the great Croatian-American Allstate fleet in the sky.  Kind of passed up some of them with his political enthusiasm for the homeland as testified when one googles Marshall Tito.  To then drop the Yugoslavia part with the boat you just add Alaska, and you'll get Jim and Shirley's boat.

He never,  we'll maybe just super extraordinarily rarely, ever thought of himself, his family, nor his friends first.  He thought of the entire fleet first. Even, and especially, it seemed, when it was contrary to his own personal best interest.  He was a relatively recent convert,if ever, to the buy back.  And it wasn't his personal self-interest he was representing with his opinion or vote. nor indeed the $300,000 personal gain to his own permit.  It was his total and determined and unbending concern to ensure that younger fishermen and future generations would best be served by WHATEVER SEAS DID.  In 1999, SEAS board was 12-1 opposed. By 2005, SEAS board was 12-1 in favor, with Jim being the lone of the 12 in 1999 to hold his same vote.

In 1995, a Herculean effort began by Jim Kyle to maintain what accrued to a multi-million dollar-decade long effort of hardcore volunteer financial activism by Mr Zuanich through following up on Mr Kyles incredible effort and personal sacrifice by duplicating that by comanaging the Hidden Falls cost recovery for years. And years.

Specificity needn't reign in the remainder of our thoughts on Jim Z.  Over large swaths of time it takes proud, super smart, reasonable, unselfish, giving, articulate and political men like Mr. Zuanich in order to create stability and sustainability for economies like commercial fishing.   Alaskan and Pacific Northwest commercial fishing.  

Jim Zuanich will be sorely missed by all of us at SEAS and across the great states of Alaska and Washington.  We lost a true leader and friend long before his time and our thoughts and prayers are and have been with Shirley and the family since we learned of Jim's passing while hiking on one of his favorite trails.

God bless you all, each and every one, and spend time with your cherished and loved ones as much as possible

On behalf of the SEAS board, yet personal and unedited as I'm just losing coverage for 4 days heading west from Spencer.

Robert Magnus Thorstenson, Jr
SEAS Executive Director

I know several SEAS board members who knew Jim better than I but I doubt their feelings nor assessment would be much different, save for a broader perspective. Jim's strong contribution to his fellow man while here with us was the 'fishing business' interaction and best knowledge that we at SEAS have of Jim.  We look forward to hearing of Jim's other down south life and sharing memories of Jim with the family and with friends in Bellingham this coming Friday after next, September 12, 2014, @3pm

SEAS Executive Director

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