In June 2017, Jim Moran, right, was a candidate for Port Angeles City Council Position No. 1. He’s shown here answering a question during a Port Angeles Business Association candidate forum that year. Marolee Smith and Todd Negus, left and center, also participated in the forum. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

In June 2017, Jim Moran, right, was a candidate for Port Angeles City Council Position No. 1. He’s shown here answering a question during a Port Angeles Business Association candidate forum that year. Marolee Smith and Todd Negus, left and center, also participated in the forum. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles City Council member Jim Moran dies

Vietnam War veteran praised for legacy of volunteerism

PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles City Council member Jim Moran, a New Jersey native known for passionate civic involvement and volunteerism in his chosen home of Port Angeles, has died.

Those close to Moran struggled to name every board the 71-year-old Vietnam War veteran was involved with or all the organizations he volunteered for, but they all agreed his death leaves a void in Port Angeles.

“He cared a lot about this community,” said John Brewer, a friend of Moran.

Moran died in his sleep Friday night or Saturday morning. His wife, Marie Moran, found him in bed at about 4:15 p.m. Saturday when she returned home from a trip to see family members.

He is survived by his wife, two sons and two grandchildren.

Information on the cause of death was not available Sunday.

Moran, former president of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, began his four-year City Council term in January 2018. He served on the Clallam County Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, the Lumber Traders Board of Directors and the North Olympic History Center Board of Directors, Brewer said.

Moran also helped with the Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association, refereed and announced for various sports and drove a van for the Port Angeles Senior Center.

“There are a lot of volunteers that do things in this town, but there’s probably nobody that did it to the level he did,” Brewer said. “He was constantly in motion and working for the good of everyone.”

Moran served in the U.S. Army for five years, flying helicopters in Vietnam and exiting the military as a captain. After returning from overseas he earned a master’s degree before serving as the district manager in Seattle for a large east-coast financial firm. He left that company to start his own firm specializing in pension administration.

Clallam County Commissioner Randy Johnson said he and Moran would often meet to bounce ideas off each other. Johnson said they shared frustrations about not being able to fund certain things, but he noted Moran’s financial analysis was almost always right.

Johnson said it was “amazing” that Moran was so involved with the community and that though they didn’t agree on everything, Moran always was willing to have a “rational discussion.”

“The fact is he gave back to our community in so many different ways,” Johnson said.

In 2008, Moran decided to make Port Angeles his home.

“He loved Port Angeles and the people in Port Angeles,” Marie Moran said Sunday. “He loved going to Ediz Hook, walking the Olympic Discovery Trail. The water drew him in.”

She said her husband helped build up the Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association and that he helped with sea scouts.

“We had a boat and sailed extensively in Puget Sound,” Marie Moran said. “I have lots of fond memories of that.”

She said when her husband wasn’t driving the Senior Center van, he was often driving for other organizations. He helped transport people to the Dungeness Lighthouse and also drove the ice resurfacer when he helped with the Chamber of Commerce’s Winter Ice Village last year.

“Jim was just a passionate person,” she said. “Anything he was involved in he gave 110 percent. He would see a need and he stepped in.”

Among Moran’s last actions as a council member was supporting Council member Cherie Kidd in her bid to remove Council member Sissi Bruch’s title of mayor over her suggestion that muskets held by metal cutout soldiers on a fence at Veterans Memorial Park are objectionable.

He also joined Kidd in walking out of a joint meeting with the city Planning Commission objecting to what he felt was an appearance of improper influence on the independent advisory panel.

“He felt very strongly the City Council had gone the wrong way,” Brewer said.

Kidd described Moran’s volunteerism and civic involvement as “remarkable” and said that he was “one of the most hardworking” council members she has worked with.

“He was always helping someone in some way,” Kidd said. “He was always planning ahead, had a sense of humor and was tremendously smart. Jim’s death is going to leave a big hole in our hearts and our community.”

Moran’s financial background helped guide council discussions during budget season, she said. Kidd said that though she read the two-inch-thick financial document, Moran had an in-depth understanding.

“He was on vacation in Hawaii and took the budget to read,” she said. “When he came back from Hawaii, he had 20 questions to ask about our budget.”

City Manager Nathan West said he was shocked to hear that Moran had died.

“Jim Moran has been a phenomenal person,” West said. “It feels like every month he is volunteering to help with something new, whether it’s chamber events, ice skating, rowing or driving the Senior Center van, Jim is doing everything.”

West said the city will work in the coming days to develop a process for dealing with the empty council position, but said the first priority is to allow people to grieve.

“City staff is extremely saddened and disturbed by his passing,” West said. “We’re going to take the next few days in making sure we’re providing respectful assistance to Jim’s family and to allow staff and council to move forward with the grieving process.”

West said Moran has demonstrated a great amount of care for his community.

“He just cared for and was entrenched in this community,” West said. “I believe Jim recognized the potential of this community and he very much wanted to be a part of changing this community for the good and making sure the community became the best it could be.”

Funeral services are pending and Harper-Ridgeview Funeral Chapel is handling arrangements.

________

Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

John Brewer.
Former editor and publisher of PDN dies

John Brewer, 76, was instrumental in community

Randy Perry and Judy Reandeau Stipe, volunteer executive director of Sequim Museum & Arts, hold aloft a banner from "The Boys in the Boat" film Perry purchased and is loaning to the museum. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
‘Boys in the Boat’ banner to be loaned to museum

Sequim man purchases item shown in film at auction

Charisse Deschenes, first hired by the city of Sequim in 2014, departed this week after 10 years in various roles, including most recently deputy city manager/community and economic development director. (City of Sequim)
Deputy manager leaves Sequim

Community, economic development position open

Hoko River project seeks salmon recovery and habitat restoration

Salmon coaltion takes lead in collaboration with Makah, Lower Elwha tribes

Clallam Transit’s zero-fare program off to successful start

Ridership is up and problems are down, general manager says

Motor rider airlifted to Seattle hospital after wreck

A Gig Harbor man was airlifted to a Seattle hospital… Continue reading

Traffic light project to begin Monday

Work crews from Titan Earthwork, LLC will begin a… Continue reading

From left to right are Indigo Gould, Hazel Windstorm, Eli Hill, Stuart Dow, Mateu Yearian and Hugh Wentzel.
Port Townsend Knowledge Bowl team wins consecutive state championships

The Knowledge Bowl team from Port Townsend High School has… Continue reading

Bob Edgington of 2 Grade LLC excavating, which donated its resources, pulls dirt from around the base of an orca sculpture at the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield on Thursday during site preparation to rebuild the Port Angeles play facility, which was partially destroyed by an arson fire on Dec. 20. A community build for the replacement playground is scheduled for May 15-19 with numerous volunteer slots available. Signups are available at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084DA4AC23A5F85-47934048-dream#/. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Site preparation at Dream Playground

Bob Edgington of 2 Grade LLC excavating, which donated its resources, pulls… Continue reading

Rayonier Inc. is selling more than 115,000 acres in four units across the West Olympic Peninsula last week as the company looks to sell $1 billion worth of assets. (Courtesy photo / Rayonier Inc.)
Rayonier to sell West End timberland

Plans call for debt restructuring; bids due in June