James Lee (Jim) Washington


Jim Washington died May 31, 2021, in Yuma, Arizona after an extended illness. Jim was born July 10, 1933, in Alamosa County to George and Thelma Washington and spent his boyhood with his sister and parents on the family farm near Mosca. He attended all 12 grades of school at Mosca where he participated in football, basketball and track. After graduation, he moved with his parents to Pueblo and was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. When his ‘Hitch’ was over, he returned to Pueblo and worked at the Pueblo Ordinance Depot. There, he met and married Shirley Ann Whaley. Shortly thereafter, Jim and Shirley moved to Ft. Garland and purchased the Ute Café. Later, they also purchased the Mount Blanca Supper Club. In 1966, they sold the Ute Café and adopted their son, Scott. Jim always loved music and dancing, so he formed a little dance band that played to big crowds every Saturday night at the ‘Inn’. (Lots of people in the San Luis Valley have had lots of fun at those dances!) They spent several years living in Ft. Garland and going to Arizona during the winter. When Scott started school, they limited their time in Arizona to January only.

In Jim’s later years, after selling the inn and house at Ft. Garland, Jim lived in Arizona in the winter and came back to the Valley in the summer. He was always a cowboy, so he spent many of those summers taking care of cattle in the pastures above Saguache. Then, he retired and spent his last years with his long-time companion, Leslie Chisholm. Jim was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his son, Scott (Kandi), their children Ty and Ali, sister, Joyce Fleming, nieces Laura Fleming, Dawnia Cooper, nephew Jim Fleming, grandnieces Shayna Garrett, Jennifer Cooper and Lynnea Pope. Grandnephew Justin Martin and several great-grandnieces and nephews.

Jim will always be remembered by his family and many friends as a happy guy with a wonderful laugh.

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