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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Obituaries

Obituary: Roe, James Martin

Age 63

ROE, James Martin James Martin Roe was born November 29, 1951 in Spokane, Washington to Willard J. and Geraldine (Gillespie) Roe.

Jim grew up in Spokane, graduated from Gonzaga Preparatory High School, the University of Notre Dame, and Gonzaga University Law School.

He passed away unexpectedly at home in Seattle on June 28, 2015.

For most of his career, Jim practiced criminal law in Seattle.

Jim grew up boating at Priest Lake, Idaho, and made frequent trips to the San Juan Islands for salmon fishing.

He was a lifelong rower after discovering the sport in college, an enthusiastic volunteer in his rowing clubs, and, more recently, became a referee for the U.S. Rowing Association.

Jim discovered the joy of singing later in life.

He took voice lessons at age 50, eventually becoming a valuable member of many local choirs, including the Seattle Symphony Chorale.

For the past several years, Jim was the organizer, music director, and stage manager of the participatory singing stage at Seattle’s annual Folklife Festival.

An active community member, Jim served on the board of the Montlake Community Center and was a founder of the Montlake Garden tour, as well as a proud Master Composter.

While Jim loved reading, opera, and live theatre, his favorite activity was traveling the world with his wife of 29 years, Martha Cohen Roe.

Jim was loved and will be remembered by many for his generosity, willingness to take any case to a jury, and his extraordinary sense of humor.

In addition to his wife Martha, Jim is survived by mother Geraldine Roe, sister Susan Roe, brother-in-law Jim Shaker, niece Libby Shaker, and nephew Nick Shaker, as well as many cousins and friends.

A funeral mass will take place at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 5050 8th Ave NE, Seattle, on Wednesday, July 8, at 10:00 a.m. A non-denominational celebration of Jim’s life held will be Sunday, July 26 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St, Seattle.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 5050 8th Ave NE, Seattle, WA, 98105, or Greenpeace Fund, Inc.,, select donate page, select tax deductible giving or c/o Greenpeace, 702 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.

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