James McGinnis Dies; Was a Sitka Educator


James “Jim” William McGinnis Jr.

James “Jim” William McGinnis Jr. of Scottsdale, Arizona, passed away peacefully with his family at his side in the evening hours of January 5, 2024.
Jim was born June 19, 1937, in Caldwell, Idaho, to James and Pauline McGinnis. Growing up he spent his time camping, hunting and fishing with his family in Malheur County and eastern Oregon. He most enjoyed spending time outdoors, and simply being a kid.
Jim was outgoing. In seventh grade, he met and befriended Bernadine Price, and shortly after the two began dating. They both attended Adrian High School, where Bernadine was a cheerleader and Jim played basketball, baseball, and was the captain and quarterback of the football team.
In addition to playing sports, Jim was an outstanding student – he was valedictorian of Adrian High School class of 1955.
After high school, Jim went to the College of Idaho, while Bernadine attended business school in Nampa, Idaho. On June 3, 1956, the two were married at Adrian Community Church in Adrian, Oregon. During his senior year of college they had their first child, James III (J).
Jim went on to finish college and graduated from the College of Idaho with his bachelor’s degree in education. 

The young family moved to Toppenish, Washington, where Jim began his teaching career as the high school biology teacher. In October of 1960, their second child, Michelle (Missy), was born. Shortly after, they moved to Joseph, Oregon, where he continued to teach biology and began coaching basketball, track and football. In 1963 Jim went back to school and earned his master’s in education from Central Washington University.
During the next ten years Jim and Bernadine had two more children, Jill and Patrick (Pat).  In the early 1970’s Jim took his first administrative position and became principal of Joseph High School. 
In 1976 Jim and Bernadine moved their family to Central Washington where Jim was the athletic director of Wapato School District.
Though they enjoyed their time in Washington and Oregon, in 1981 the McGinnis family relocated to Sitka, where he was the vice principal and athletic director of Sitka High School for 24 years before he retired.
During his time as a teacher and administrator he became well known for his kind, yet no-nonsense, demeanor toward students. He was lovingly and affectionately referred to as Mr. McGinnis. His legacy lives on today as a result of the positive impact he had on students throughout his 40 plus years in education.
In 2005 Jim and Bernadine moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2006, the two  moved to Medora, North Dakota, where they finally fulfilled a lifelong dream of operating a cattle ranch. After seven years in Medora the two returned south to Scottsdale where they spent their time with their kids and grandchildren and enjoying the warm sunny days.
James was preceded in death by his mother and father as well as his sister, Joyce Davis, daughter-in-law Marlene McGinnis, and his loving wife of 65 years, Bernadine Price-McGinnis.
He is survived by his four children, James McGinnis III (Pam), Michelle Standerwick (Dave), Jill O’Neil (Tim) and Patrick McGinnis; his five grandchildren, Jared Standerwick (Kerri), Bailey Schulz (Matt), Kristofer Ayers (Ashley), Tatum Ayers and Lindsey McGinnis; and his two great-grandchildren, Wesley and Lane Schulz.
A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Jan. 20 at Adrian Community Church. A reception will follow at the church with graveside burial at Owyhee Cemetery at 1:30 pm. All friends and family welcome at the memorial and/or graveside burial.
Condolences to the family can be sent to Jill O’Neil at 2824 E Donald Drive Phoenix, AZ 85050.

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