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Alderwood Boys & Girls Club unveils plaque memorializing Jim Corcoran

LYNNWOOD—The Alderwood Boys & Girls Club unveiled a brand-new plaque memorializing the late, great, Jim Corcoran on February 2 at what’s come to be known as its James W. Corcoran Memorial Gymnasium. In 2023, the flooring of the gym was stripped and repainted, the first time in over 30 years.

During the ceremony, Jordan Daniel, Athletics Director at Alderwood Boys & Girls Club, spoke about Corcoran’s tremendous legacy of community involvement, specifically his work at the club where he sponsored around 7-10 youth sports teams for many years including the basketball teams his grandson, Alex, coaches now. His sponsorship did not end with donations and his name on the jersey, however. He also became very involved with the teams he sponsored, attending every game they played to show his support.

Jordan Daniel (left), Athletics Director at Alderwood Boys & Girls Club, and Alex Hendricks (right), speaking with kids in the James W. Corcoran Memorial Gymnasium on February 2, 2024. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

“If we weren’t [at the Boys & Girls Club] every day something was wrong,” Alex Hendrick said. “Every time I was at the Boys & Girls Club there was at least one team with the Corcoran name on their back.”

Hendrick, who Corcoran adopted from a young age, followed Daniel at Friday’s ceremony to share how much the Alderwood Boys & Girls Club, via his grandfather’s influence, plays a large part of his upbringing.

“Seeing [the Boys and Girls Club] honor him really means a lot to me and my family. I sincerely appreciate all of you guys,” said Hendrick.

Also in attendance at Friday’s ceremony was former Lynnwood City Council President Shannon Session who first met Corcoran 30 years ago as a husband to her best friend’s mother. In a lot of ways, she has felt like a member of Corcoran’s family, attending many of the potlucks, picnics, and events he would host on his land. Councilwoman Sessions, a fellow Air Force veteran, recalled her working relationship with Corcoran over the years helping many of Lynnwood’s Veteran community.

“Really [our relationship] grew when both of us we’re doing stuff in the community. Jim is a major advocate for veterans, he is a award-winning medal honored veteran himself and did a lot for our local veteran community, including our Northwest Veterans Museum here in Lynnwood – if it wasn’t for him it probably would have died,” Sessions told the Lynnwood Times.

Jordan Daniel (left), Athletics Director at Alderwood Boys & Girls Club, with Paul Keen, Lynnwood High School Athletic Director, and Alex Hendricks (right), in front of the plaque in the James W. Corcoran Memorial Gymnasium on February 2, 2024. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

Anyone who knew Jim Corcoran would describe him as active, outgoing, and profoundly generous. In the last 25 years there was hardly a day you wouldn’t catch Corcoran sponsoring sports teams at the Alderwood Boys and Girls Club, sharing his military expertise at the Northwest Veteran Museum, or sitting on the Board of Directors for the Lynnwood-Alderwood Manor Heritage Association where he met his most recent partner, Sharon Jungers.

It was because of Corcoran’s intensely involved, and tremendously altruistic lifestyle, that when he began slowing down his community service his friends and family knew it had to be serious. After being in-and-out of the hospital for the past six weeks, Corcoran ultimately passed away on Tuesday, June 14, due to aplastic anemia and complications with his heart. He was 81 years old.

“He was not one to lay around and do nothing,” Jungers, his partner, said. “When I would visit him in the hospital, he would joke, ‘they’re keeping me captive, take me home.’”

Corcoran’s fast-paced life began at a young age growing up in Jewell, Oregon where he played sports and made friends with just about everybody. Even though his life eventually would lead him to Washington State, he always returned to Jewell once a year during Memorial Day, for a family reunion. This year marked that reunion’s 70th anniversary.

“He was somebody who could talk to anyone. We would be standing in line at McDonald’s or we would be at the gas station, it didn’t matter where we were, he could strike up a conversation with anybody. It always embarrassed me as a kid, but it really influenced me in my adult life where, now I talk to everyone and always laugh because it reminds me of him,” Alex Hendrick, Jim’s grandson told the Lynnwood Times.

When Corcoran was approximately five years of age, his family relocated to Raymond, Washington, where his active lifestyle brought him through drama, choir, high school student government, and playing football and running track.

Jim Corcoran. Photo Courtesy of Alex Hendrick.

After high school, Corcoran joined the U.S. Army fighting in Vietnam, where he earned a bronze star, and the Korean War quickly working his way up to a Green Beret in Special Forces. He retired from the military a Lieutenant Colonel after about 20 years of service. Corcoran remained actively involved in the Veteran community, volunteering his time at Lynnwood’s Northwest Veteran’s Museum where he even generously paid for the museum’s utility bills.

“It’s really sad to have lost Jim so quickly. I had a chance to visit him at Manor Care. I called him Jim ‘the Colonel’ Corcoran,” Myra Rintamaki, with the Veteran Museum, told the Lynnwood Times.

Corcoran was an extremely dedicated volunteer and club supporter at the Alderwood Boys and Girls Club, where he visited almost daily, and was named Volunteer of the Year.

On September 11, 2019, Corcoran pushed his generosity and love for his community to new heights by donating this land to Snohomish County to be turned into Corcoran Memorial Park. The land at that time was valued at $1,573,800 making it one of the highest-valued land donations in Snohomish County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department’s 57-year history.

“We’re not a real wealthy family and for someone to give that kind of property away is tremendously generous,” Dean Corcoran, Jim’s nephew and Executor of his uncle’s estate, told the Lynnwood Times.

Jim Corcoran (center with ball cap) with his partner Sharon Jungers (blue jacket) and former County Councilman Terry Ryan (front row right) along with members of the Snohomish County Conservation and Natural Resources Department. Source: Snohomish County Government.

The property will be known as the Corcoran Memorial Park in memory of Mr. Corcoran’s younger brother who died in 1970 shortly after serving in Vietnam with the 82nd Airborne Division, his nephew who perished in the 2014 Oso Mudslide, and the memory of other loved ones lost in a plane crash in 1960 while serving in the Navy. Most recently the park will also honor Jim Corcoran himself and his life, legacy, and extremely generous contributions to his community.

“He wanted it to be the way he wanted it to be, so that’s why it took such a long time. He had a lot of requests about the park to make sure he supported the community around it,” Sessions told the Lynnwood Times. “He was hoping Lynnwood would annex that area so it could become a Lynnwood Park but that didn’t happen, so it went to the County.”

During his last six to eight weeks, daily tasks became harder for Corcoran. To those who knew him best, not seeing him attend the Boys and Girls Club to root on his teams was concerning. After struggling with his health for the past couple months Jim William Corcoran passed away on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.

Statement from Staci Baldwin, Corcoran’s stepdaughter

Jim Corcoran

Jim Corcoran’s stepdaughter, Staci Baldwin, issued the following statement to the Lynnwood Times:

“Jim was my stepdad of 35 years. He always knew how to make sure we knew he was proud of us. He lived modestly so that he could give generously. I was Miss Washington many years ago and Jim wanted to introduce me to all of his Military colleagues, asked me to attend all of the veteran memorial events. He made The BEST BBQ steaks ever.”

“He was a hero who served in the Vietnam and Korean wars. He was a true patriot. As noted, he gave so much to the Alderwood Boys & Girls Club.  He sponsored 100’s of teams at the Alderwood Boy & Girls Club through the years. He started playing baseball with my nephews when was 2 years old and never stopped.”

“There is just so much I can say that I really don’t know what to say after 35 years. Jim’s generosity changed so many people’s lives for the better. One small act in helping someone can impact their life forever, Jim did that for me.  He made me accountable, taught me to be financially responsible. He was intentional About everything he did.”

Jim Corcoran
Alderwood Boys & Girls Club. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

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