James McGough

Obituary of James Henry McGough

James Henry McGough (Jim/Papa Jim to his grandchildren) was born on September 5, 1930, in Seattle, Washington. Son of Thomas Francis McGough and Helen Lorenz McGough he was the eldest of three children. He grew up in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle graduating from Ballard High School in 1948. Following in his father’s footsteps, Jim became a Seattle firefighter where he would have a rewarding and decorated career. Shortly after joining, he was drafted into the military where he served two years in the Air Force in France. He enjoyed serving his country and supporting the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. Upon his return from France, he restarted his firefighting career which would span 35 years with the Seattle Fire Department, rising to the position of Battalion Chief. During his time with the SFD, he was involved with many progressive programs including the Medic One program that was pioneered in Seattle.  He was very proud of his career and the men he served with and lead. Jim had a strong bond with his firefighting brothers, a fraternity that held a special place in his life. 


Jim had an adventurous life with a variety of interests in the outdoors - flying, shooting, hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, skiing, and the Fiat club. Early in his adult life, he took up hunting and raising and training German Shorthair Pointers for upland birds - a lifelong passion that led to many outdoor trips with his dog at his side, his last being Annie. Other proud accomplishments were earning his pilot’s license and going on to receive his multi-engine and float licenses as well. Piloting into remote fishing spots with his flying partners and going to lunch in the plane were some of his favorite activities. As an avid outdoorsman, Jim achieved his goal to summit Mt Rainier in 1974 - at the time, a significant milestone. Hiking across the Olympic Mountains with Mule and backpack was another achievement that Jim and his family experienced. An 8-day canoe trip to the Bowron Lakes region in British Columbia was an example of his pioneering ways and taking a small boat down the Missouri River with Karen also embraced his spirit. Jim and Karen were part of Fiat Enthusiasts Northwest where they would take their Fiat 2000 Spyder on road rallies and enjoy the comradery of other Fiat enthusiasts. Moving up to his Audi TT, they enjoyed putting the top down and going on road trips. Jim enjoyed history and exploring it during his travels, he was a Jeopardy buff and aced the history answers. He loved to hear about his grandchildren and what they were up to as their lives unfolded. Jim was lucky that he was able to continue childhood friendships throughout his life which he cherished.  His doctors remember him for always having a smile to greet them.  He had a full life and did not leave any stone unturned enjoying all it had to offer and adding to those he touched.  He enjoyed life until his passing on May 3, 2022.


Jim was married to Patricia Lee Harrigan (deceased) in 1953 and they raised two children, Patrick James McGough and Shelly Ann McGough (Bucklin), until divorcing. Jim later married Karen Goss; they enjoyed 38 years together until his passing. He is survived by his wife Karen McGough, sister Katherine Dickerson, two children Patrick McGough (Nancy) and Shelly Bucklin, Stepchildren Greg Goss, Carol Goss, Laura Mathers (Rick), and Richard Goss (AnnaMarie); and Grand Children, Katharine McGough (Bart), John McGough (Samantha), Chelsea Bucklin and Russ Bucklin, Great Grandson Jordan McGough, and step-Grand Children Christopher McCloud (Audrey), Eric Goss, Even Johansen, and Alyssa Johansen.  Jim’s sister Carol Ridolfi predeceased him.


A Celebration of Life will be held on June 15th at 2:30 pm at Inglewood Golf Club in Kenmore. Jim will be laid to rest at Tahoma National Cemetery with family only participating. 

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Celebration of Life

2:30 pm
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Inglewood Golf Club
6505 Inglewood Road NE
Kenmore, Washington, United States
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