James Sereyka

Obituary of James Thomas Sereyka

James (Jim) Sereyka, age 79, of Gold Bar, Washington, passed peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, on December 14th, 2021 in Snohomish, Washington due to complications of late-stage Alzheimer's. Jim was born in Chicago, Illinois, and is preceded in death by his mother, Irene, and father, Stanley. He is survived by his wife, Mary; children Nikki, Sergei, and Peter; grandchildren Jasmine, Jesse, and Hana; sisters Veronica and Victoria; brothers Ron and Randolph; and by numerous extended family members and friends, beloved by all. Jim never stopped striving to improve the lives of those he loved and humanity as a whole. He was a veteran of the armed forces and served for the Air Force. The oldest of five, Jim worked hard from a very young age to ensure the well-being of his family and continued that tradition as he grew older and started his own family. Throughout his life, he embarked on various ventures and projects to do just that. He enjoyed being involved in his community and joined clubs such as the Sea Scouts and Jaycees and attended local planning meetings. Jim was instrumental in planning and implementing the first Hands Across Washington while with the Lynnwood Jaycees. Jim's wheels were always turning and you could frequently witness the light bulbs going on above his head. He had a creative entrepreneurial spirit. He owned several small businesses and was always inventing or improving on various ideas. Jim was a pioneer in helping develop battery-electric car technology in the early 1970s as an employee of EFP Corp in Detroit, MI, including collaborating with colleges participating in the first Clean Air Car Race as well as entering five purely electric cars in the New York Auto Show in 1971. These early efforts inspired a new group of young engineers and helped develop the IC gas to electric car transition that we see today. In the late 1970s, Jim helped promote the development of electric cockpit controls to replace older mechanical designs while working for Avtech Corp in Seattle, WA. In the 1980s, Jim's contributions were invaluable in helping to organize all facets of ETL Corp, (which became Randtronics Transit Supply Corp, Snohomish, WA). For many years the company has designed and supplied a wide range of electronics and instrumentation for electric substations and electric trolley buses, streetcars, and light rail vehicles around the world. Jim participated in the development of Saturn V, solving a huge problem with a tiny part that contributed to the success of the program. Everything that Jim did was done with spiritedness, a heart full of passion, and a mind full of innovation, ingenuity, and resourcefulness. He was always full of surprises and continued to amaze us with his wit and perseverance to the very end of his life. He was an inventor, entrepreneur, adventurer, and the best dance partner ever according to many a woman. Even after being the victim of a violent attack in 2004, which caused a traumatic brain injury, Jim held on to his zest for life, life-long learning, and playfulness, and seemed to gain even more optimism as he grew older. When asked how he was doing, Jim's answer was always, "I'm hopeful!"! Jim, Dad, Bro, Grandpa... you will live on in our hearts, you'll continue to inspire us for the rest of our lives, and we will always miss that glowing smile of yours.
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