James Kyllingmark

Obituary of James P Kyllingmark

James (Jim) P. Kyllingmark, a beloved child of God, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday, October 5, 2021. Jim was born 4th of 5 children to Ruth (Larson) and Henry Kyllingmark in Los Angeles, California on May 12, 1953. The family returned to Custer, WA in 1954. Jim’s childhood was full of front yard football games with the neighbor boys, riding motorcycles, and haying to earn money so he could buy and fine-tune his famous sea-foam green ‘64 GTO. He often shared stories about how he and his buddies (both friends and relatives) raced on the Bay Road to see whose car was the fastest! Jim graduated from Ferndale High School in 1971. He was a 3-sport letterman, thus cementing his love of sports. He would spend hours practicing pitching baseballs, teaching himself how to hit painted targets on the side of the family barn until he perfected a whole arsenal of different kinds of pitches. This hard work earned him a baseball scholarship to Grays Harbor Community College in Aberdeen, WA. In the late 1970s, Jim heard the gospel message and received Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. This shaped the rest of Jim’s life in a meaningful way. He often looked for ways to lend his handyman skills to friends and family. He found fulfillment in meeting their needs, but his real joy was passing that knowledge and expertise along to others. Jim’s Christ-like attitude led him to be exceptionally generous with his money. It was his honor and pleasure to bless countless people, organizations and ministries. Seeing this as a privilege, Jim would often say, “God blessed us, so we can bless others.” The love of sports was also a continuous theme throughout Jim’s life. Although he enjoyed playing basketball, golf, tennis or any other sport that crossed his path, his first love remained any form of baseball. He played competitive men’s slow pitch with the Oly’s, Whatcom Merchants, Yeagers, and Les Hanson teams, among many others. Less competitively, but with just as much enthusiasm and fun, he also played co-ed softball with the local 7-11 and Jerry Chambers Chevrolet teams. In fact, it was while he was playing on a co-ed church league softball team that he first sparked an interest in his soon-to-be wife, Lori LaRose of Ferndale. Their first date was to a Seattle Mariners’ game. That drive from Ferndale to Seattle and back again was magical. They fell deeply in love and were married on April 4th, 1987. Six years later, they were blessed with a beautiful baby girl, their daughter Emily. After short careers in logging and truck driving, Jim found a permanent job at the Ferndale Post Office. He became very skilled at his job, often completing his route in time to get down to Ferndale High School to help coach the girls’ high school fast pitch team. He was thankful for this opportunity because he not only taught Emily, but many other girls to love the game as much as he did. As much as he loved sports, they paled in comparison to how much he loved and treasured his family. Jim was often referred to as a gentle giant. Towering 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighing up to 280 lbs., his presence might be intimidating. However, it did not take anyone very long to realize that he was one of the most gentle, soft spoken, generous, and kind men you’d ever want to meet. He was a deeply devoted husband, daddy, son, brother, cousin, and uncle. He looked forward to family picnics and celebrations, watching the kids enjoy their sports and other activities, family breakfasts on Monday mornings, treating someone to a special meal or just hanging out sipping coffee and visiting. His first priority, during his illness, was to be at home so his family had the freedom to stop by without any limitations or restrictions. Even right before he went to heaven, he winked and smiled at us with love in his eyes. Jim is survived by his loving wife, Lori; daughter, Emily (Matthew) Helland; brother, Jerry (Della) Kyllingmark; sisters, Jani (Darrell) Trull, Judy Kyllingmark Hehr; and numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents Henry and Ruth (Larson) Kyllingmark; brother, Joseph Kyllingmark; brother-in-law, Kenneth Hehr. A memorial service will be held at Cornerstone Community Church in Ferndale on Saturday, November 6, at 2:30 pm. with a reception to follow. A live stream option is also available. To access this option, please send your email address to lorikyllingmark@gmail.com and a link will be sent out approximately 5 minutes prior to the service. Donations in Jim’s honor may be made to the Ferndale High School Athletic Dept., Whatcom Hospice Foundation or any charity of your choosing. You may share your thoughts & memories in the family’s online guest book, here at www.jernsfh.com
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