James Harlowe Haugen of Winthrop, Washington, passed away Oct. 12, 2022, in Wenatchee, Washington, of natural causes. He was born in Hannaford, North Dakota, on the family farm to Hans and Maxine Haugen on June 8, 1933.
Jim’s elementary education included time in a one-room schoolhouse, with his mother as the teacher. He attended Hannaford High School and was a gifted athlete.
Jim worked for the railroad while he attended Minot State College and the University of Wyoming, earning his teaching certification. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Montana and his superintendent’s degree from Washington State University. Jim’s educational career included time as a classroom teacher in Montana, building principal and district superintendent in Washington state. He was the superintendent of schools in the Methow Valley for 10 years and finished his Washington educational career in Pe Ell as the superintendent of schools, where he worked for eight years. After retiring from Washington state, he went to Crane, Oregon, and worked as the superintendent of schools for four years.
Jim enjoyed golf, travel and time with his family, especially the family reunions in Seaside, Oregon. He enjoyed telling a joke or story to hear others laugh and to see if he could get to the punch line before his wife. He had a sense for adventure, a generous spirit, loved life and was always ready to “go with the flow.” Jim was a wonderful role model for multiple generations and seemed invincible to his family. He had a bigger-than-life personality that lit up a room. The family’s world feels a little darker right now. However, they feel very fortunate to have many incredible memories of his warmth, inclusive nature, and love to reflect on.
Jim married his high school sweetheart, Audrey Mae Bruns in Hannaford, North Dakota, on March 18, 1951. They were married for 71 years and had five children, Steve, Kari, Joni, Lori and Staci. He is survived by his wife Audrey Haugen of Winthrop, Washington, Steve Haugen (Karen) of Phoenix, Arizona, Kari Spencer (Larry) of Boise, Idaho, Joni Stevie (Wayne) of Twisp, Washington; Lori Haugen (Becky Wetli) of Federal Way, Washington, Staci Russell (Brett) of Olympia, Washington; 15 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and one-great-great grandchild. He is also survived by his sister Vicki (Jerry) Knight, several brother and sister in-laws and countless nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother (Darryl Haugen), sister (Janet Caven), and one great-grandchild (Teagen Haugen).
A memorial service was held at the Methow Valley United Methodist Church in Winthrop, on Saturday, Oct. 22. River Valley Funeral & Cremation of Okanogan is caring for the arrangements.