James (Jim) Thomas Tobin, 65, of Mabton passed after a long and difficult journey with colon cancer. Jim was returned to his Lord on Monday, May 7, 2012.

He was born at home in Mabton on Nov. 14, 1946 to Leonard and Theresa Tobin.

He grew up in a large family of farmers and ranchers. Jim grew up on a working farm in Mabton, where he learned the value of education and hard work.

He attended Grandview High School and later Washington State University, where he earned a degree in agricultural mechanics. After high school he enlisted with the U.S. Navy, serving in Vietnam from 1965 to 1968, receiving numerous medals and commendations, including the Vietnam Service Medal (Bronze Star Cluster), a campaign medal and the National Defense Service Medal. He was a member of Attack Squadron 12.

After graduating from WSU in 1973, Jim found employment with the John Deere Company. In 1978 he left Deere to pursue his farming aspirations. Starting with a small hop farm near Mabton he worked closely with other family members, gradually increasing his crop diversity. During his career he farmed hops, asparagus, squash, corn and apples. He was probably best known for growing cherries and Concord grapes together with his wife, Beth, brother and friend, Hank and 'right hand man', Moises.

Actively involved in the farming community, Jim served on the Washington State Cherry Commission until 2010, and the National Grape Cooperative.

Jim enjoyed his morning farm planning meetings with his friends at the 10-4 Café in Grandview, boating, fishing, waterskiing, snowmobiling, playing cribbage and "Sparkle," and spending time with his grandchildren.

Jim was an avid reader and regarded within the community as a wealth of information for many topics, but his passions were politics and economics. He also enjoyed the occasional visit to the casino for craps with his best friend, Wes.

Jim suffered a stroke in 2000 which helped him realign his life priorities. He gave up smoking and tried to work a little less and spend more time traveling.

Jim's smile, humor and wisdom will be greatly missed by his beloved wife, (Clara) Beth Tobin; his children: Sarina and Tavis Elliott, Joshua and Maggie Pezzullo, Jessica and Gabe Gonzalez, Angela and Brent Martin and Rebecca Pezzullo. He was richly blessed by his grandchildren, including Destiny, Desiree, Camrin, Ana, Gage, Jolie, Morgan, Brennan, Bria and Mikayla; as well as numerous step and adopted grandkids. Surviving siblings include Jeannette and Bill Castle, Elizabeth "Betty" and Dean Doerschlag, Henry "Hank" and Blanche Tobin, Patricia "Toots" and Jerry Roy, Donald and Theresa Tobin and David and Carmen Tobin.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and several brothers and sisters.

According to Jim's wishes, no funeral services are planned. Instead, it was his desire that friends and family gather to celebrate his life at his home on Monday, May 14, 2012, 3231 Olmstead Road in Grandview, from 1 to 5 p.m., with a 4 p.m. toast.

Those wishing to sign Jim's on-line memorial book may do so at

Smith Funeral Home LTD and Crematory in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.


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