PORT ANGELES — A celebration of life is set for Jim Casey, a longtime journalist who worked as a reporter and an editor on the North Olympic Peninsula, at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
Casey died in his sleep in his Port Angeles home Aug. 9. He was 72.
A celebration of life is set at the Olympic Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 1033 N. Barr Road; a potluck follows the celebration.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104, or Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County.
Casey worked in a number of newsrooms across the country, from suburban Chicago to Dayton, Ohio, and Corpus Christi, Texas, and several in Washington state. He worked at the Everett Herald as a columnist and the Olympian in Olympia as a features editor.
He also worked as an instructor in business communications at a technical/vocational school in Corpus Christi for a time in the mid-1990s.
Casey joined the Peninsula Daily News staff as its county government, medical and tribal reporter in October 2004.
He came to the Sequim Gazette in January 2009 and served as editor until May 2010.
After a stint in Coos Bay, Ore., Casey returned to the Peninsula Daily News in December 2014. His last story before he retired was published Jan. 28, 2016.
“Jim Casey was an accomplished journalist on the Peninsula and his outstanding reporting served our readers well for many years,” said Terry Ward, publisher of the PDN and Sequim Gazette.
“He will be missed.”
John Brewer, retired editor and publisher of the PDN, worked with Casey for many years:
“Jim Casey was a wonderful writer and a bulldog reporter — passionate, grounded and good-hearted, respected by his colleagues and his sources,” Brewer said.
Leah Leach, PDN executive editor, said that Casey was among the finest journalists she has known in her career.
“He cared deeply about the people and issues he wrote about. He cared about accuracy. And he loved writing.
“His influence on the community was far greater than his body of work.”
Paul Gottlieb, a reporter who worked many years with Casey, described Casey as “a reporter’s writer.”
“He never used a lead twice and he put you right into the story,” Gottlieb said.
“He crafted each story like it was a work of art. “
Gottlieb said Casey really connected to the people he interviewed.
“He was able to show his human side.”
In his first editorial for the Gazette, Casey noted, “It’s here where the Gazette is the audience, cheerleader, critic and town crier, the place to look for pats on the back and to find shoulders to cry on, the chronicler of everything from duplicate bridge scores to acts of heroism.
“Putting all of this in ink onto paper — and in bits and bytes onto sequimgazette.com — is an exhilarating, humbling, frightening, heart-rending, heart-warming and rib-tickling job.”
Brown Maloney, former owner of the Sequim Gazette, said Casey offered a trusted voice when it came to community news.
Casey was also very active in the community, serving as a member of the Olympic Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Olympic Climate Action and Compassion of Clallam County. After retiring he spent time woodworking, making canes, walking sticks, hiking staffs and pieces of art with driftwood.
Casey is survived by his wife, Dana, whom he married in December 1968 in Chicago. He is also survived by daughter Elisabeth Anne Casey of Corpus Christi, Texas; brother Steve John Casey of Los Angeles, and sister Sandra Woods of Mississippi, as well as three grandchildren.