James “Jim” Foode passed away peacefully in his home in Ellensburg, Washington on Jan. 25, 2020, surrounded by his son Frank and his wife Teresa (Sloan). He was 88.
Jim was born in Cordova, Alaska on July 13, 1931 where he lived for most of his life. Jim is best remembered as an outstanding aircraft mechanic and an exceptional pilot. Jim owned and operated Chitina Air Service from 1980 through 1986. It was while serving the herring roe on kelp season in 1980 that he met Teresa, and they were married the following year. Anyone who fished Prince William Sound or the Copper River Flats in the 80s can remember Jim and his beloved Cessna 185 flying fishermen to and from their boats. Jim also flew many medevac flights, often in marginal weather conditions, to rescue his fellow Cordovans.
In his younger days Jim held many jobs, from sweeping the hangar floors for Merle “Mudhole” Smith as a teenager, delivering the mail by boat around the Sound, to mechanic/flight engineer on Cordova Airlines’ DEWLINE contracts. Jim seldom recorded his flights in a formal logbook, but a good estimate is 30,000 hours of flight time without a single accident.
Jim was instrumental in the founding of the Chugach Alaska Corp. and for recognition of the village of Eyak. Jim and Teresa moved to Washington in 1986. He is survived by his daughter Gale of Anchorage, son Frank of Aberdeen, daughter Jamie of Cordova, and wife Teresa of Ellensburg. He was preceded in death by his son, Mark. Jim was the last of his siblings, who included John, George, Thomas, Richard, Charles, Mattie (Robbins), Mabel (Heaton), Merci (Bonzer), Betty (Lightner), Esther (Mulcahy), June (Anderson), and an infant brother.
A celebration of life will be sometime this summer. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to the Cordova Volunteer Fire Department. Jim appreciated their response back in 2001 when he needed them. Condolences can be made on the Tribute Wall at steward-williams.com/obituary/JamesJim-M-Foode.