James Ernest Estes

March 23, 1939 ~ October 27, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old


     Jim Estes passed away on October 27 at age 84 from complications of Multiple Sclerosis, a neurological disease he had for 57 years. Throughout his life he refused to give in to the progressive failures of his body. He completed his PhD degree and embarked on a lifelong career of medical research of the protein actin found in muscle cells. At the time of hos retirement in 2008, he had authored or co-authored 42 scientific manuscripts, many more abstracts and co-edited one book. He was invited to discuss his work at national and international conferences. He achieved his goal of being known as a respected scientist.

     Jim was born in Tacoma, WA, the oldest son of Ernest J. Estes, a hardware owner and Marie H. Morisse, a bookkeeper. After college at Washington Sate University, he pursued his Ph.D. at the State University of NY at Buffalo. There he met his fellow graduate students, Carmela (Millie) Torre and they married in 1966. They raised two children who followed scientific related fields of work. He was an enthusiastic and playful father to his young children and a supportive one as they became adults.

     Jim had a playful nature and enjoyed word play and quick comebacks to both comical and serious situations. He had a ready smile and was the eternal optimist many times again all odds. He found his greatest relaxation in nature, especially his very large, compost fertilized and productive vegetable garden. He spoiled his family with the taste of fresh vegetables and introduced uncommon ones which he relished cultivating. He trimmed bushes and pruned trees as long as he was able. It was both exercise and purposeful for him.

     He is survived by his wife of 57 years his son Guy (Stacey) daughter Joanna, his brother John and sister Judy Karman (Doug), 3 grandchildren, (Arabella, Camille and Lillian) and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father and mother and brother Jerry.

     His final wishes were that his ashes be spread at the lake of his childhood fishing and exploding the woods with his grandfather and brother. Afterward there is to be a party at his expense. The family requests that in lieu of flowers a contribution be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

     He wanted to be known as a good man. And that he was.

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