Loretta Ethel James (1929 – 2017)

Loretta Ethel James was born on December 15, 1929, and entered into rest on December 25, 2017, surrounded by all her children and family. She attended Marysville Schools; Martha Lake School in Seattle; and was given the opportunity to attend the University of Washingtonunder the direction of Professor Ralph Johnson for the American Indian Court Judges Association Training, through the Swinomish Tribe. She successfully completed and became a Tribal Court Judge. Other positions and employments Loretta had were Community Action Program Aide; Chief Judge for the Swinomish and Puyallup Tribes; Associate Judge for the Tulalip Tribes, Suquamish Tribe, Lummi Nation; and Squaxin Tribe; Resident Aide at Tulalip Housing; served on the Tulalip Enrollment Committee; served as past Chairman of the Tulalip Elders Committee. She was an active inspiration in helping organize the NAIWA – the National American Indian Women’s Association. Loretta while serving as judge in Swinomish, actively participated in the 1974 case of the Boldt Decision, heard through the US District Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. As judge she also was hearing cases on Indian Child Welfare. She was a major advocate for members in Tulalip, Lummi, Swinomish, Puyallup, Suquamish, and Squaxin tribes. She fought to get their children back. Her last position was the Boom City Magistrate. She is survived by her seven children, Marie (Gene) Zackuse, Harold (Dolly) Joseph Jr., LeRoy (Judy) Joseph, Kenneth Joseph, Karen (Cy) Fryberg, Judy (Tony) Gobin, and Carmen (John) Burke all of Tulalip; siblings, LeRoy (Skooky) and Lila Henry of Tulalip, Annette Napeahi, of Tulalip, Mary Jo James of Tulalip, Eugene Henry of Swinomish, and Virginia Bill of Tacoma; step children, Charles James Jr., Leonard James, and Mark James; 28 grandchildren and 70 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husbands, Harold Joseph Sr., and Charles J. James Sr.; brothers, Oliver Henry, Woodworth Henry, Morey Henry, Duane Henry, Hanford Henry and Patrick Henry; sisters Donna Cooper, Betty Lou Henry and Patricia Cheer; and grandson, Michael Lee Joseph. A visitation will be held Thursday, December 28, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at Schaefer-Shipman Funeral Home with a Recitation of the Rosary to follow at 6:00 p.m. at the Tulalip Gym. Funeral Services will be held Friday at 10:00 a.m. at the Tulalip Gym with burial to follow at Mission Beach Cemetery.