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Obituary: Vanleuven, James K.

VAN LEUVEN, James K. SEATTLE - James Kenneth “Jim” VanLeuven, a Spokane native who became one of the West’s leading public relations educators, died March 26, 2013, while on vacation with his family in Orlando, Florida. He was 72. Jim was born in Spokane, in 1940 to Kenneth and June VanLeuven. He graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in 1959. He attended Washington State University for three years, then transferred to the University of Oregon, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism. He spent his early professional years working for regional newspapers, for the Associated Press, and for Oregon State University where he was a science writer and part-time journalism instructor. In 1970, he moved to Moscow, Idaho, where he taught at the University of Idaho. Jim earned a Ph.D. in sociology from Washington State University in 1977 and taught in WSU’s Department of Communication from 1981 to 1985. In 1985, Jim moved to Colorado State University, becoming chair of the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication in 1991. From 2000 until his retirement in 2006, Jim held the first endowed professorship in public relations at the University of Oregon. In 1963, Jim married Susan Carter in Spokane, his wife of nearly 50 years, who survives him. They moved to a Seattle retirement community in 2011. The couple had two children: Thomas Carter, born in 1966, and Kathryn Jean, born in 1968. Both children died previously. In addition to his wife, Jim is survived by his sister, Jane Hardy of Seattle, and his daughter-in-law, Margaretta VanLeuven, and his grandchildren, all of New York City. A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at Trinity Parish Church, 609 Eighth Ave., Seattle, with a reception to follow. The family suggests memorial contributions to Skyline at First Hill Residents’ Association, 725 Ninth Ave., Suite 009, Seattle, WA 98104; to the Oregon State University Foundation to support the Kate VanLeuven CSSA Award, 850 SW 35th Street, Corvallis, OR , 97333, or to Trinity Parish Church to support an Episcopal Service Corps intern.


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