John Edward (Jack) Finholm passed away on July 6th, 2021. He was a devoted family man, a successful business leader, a passionate member of his Gig Harbor community and a teller of charming stories that may have occasionally prioritized entertainment over accuracy.
Jack was born on March 21, 1946 to Edward and Helen, as the oldest son in what would become a family of seven children. He spent his childhood riding bikes, fishing and finding hijinks in Gig Harbor, WA. His work ethic developed early; cutting meat and stocking shelves at the family store and butcher shop, Finholm’s Market.
At Peninsula High School he shined as a 3-sport athlete, excelling in basketball, baseball and football, often having to play both offense and defense because there weren’t enough players. His sisters vouch for stories of his teen years that stretch credibility: who can fly a seaplane in Alaska without a lesson at age 16 or fix the broken-down family car on the way to the doctor to tend to their very own broken leg?
Jack went on to attend the University of Washington, making lifelong friends with his Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers and kicking off his passion for Husky football. After college he joined the Army Reserves where, as he tells it, he “bravely defended Northern California.” It was around this time that he took the first of many cross-country moves to Chicago, IL to start his career in the international logistics industry.
Jack was an avid skier. Not long after moving to his new city, he headed out to take on the “hills” of Chicago, only to have his skis stolen. That thief kicked off a fortunate series of events that led him to a bar where he met a beautiful blonde, Margaret Looze. They married 6 months later.
During their 43 years of marriage, Jack and Marge lived in Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois and California before their final move back to be with his family in Gig Harbor. Their children Scott, Kristen and Brandon were the center of his world. Jack was their coach, their cheerleader, their role model, and their friend. A gregarious man with a booming voice, Jack was asked more than once to cheer his kids on a “bit more quietly.” Not something he was capable of.
Jack was a leader in the international logistics industry for Fritz Companies, UPS and TransTrade. He played a transformative role in that industry and left a huge impression on his former colleagues. They describe him as a terrific mentor, an inspiring leader and a fantastic salesman with one friend saying that Jack “could talk a dog off a meat truck”.
After his retirement, he was finally able to live the life he’d worked so hard to earn. He and Marge split their time between their summer home on Wollochet Bay and their winter home in Palm Desert. They made wonderful new friends at the Palm Desert Resort Country Club where Jack humorously claimed he was still “out-driving everyone he ever played with.”
Jack was at Marge’s side throughout her years-long battle with cancer until she passed in 2016. He eventually met Karla Sullivan who helped bring joy back into his life. The two have enjoyed many adventures together over the past few years.
Jack’s friends and family will miss his sense of humor, zest for life, infectious smile, hearty laugh, quiet acts of kindness and, of course, his wonderful stories. He was a great man and a hero to his children, who believe every story he ever told.
Jack was proceeded in death by his wife of 43 years, Margaret Finholm, siblings Mary Lou Bird and Eddie Finholm and parents Edward and Helen Finholm.
Jack is survived by his children Scott (Amy), Kristen (Jason) and Brandon and grandchildren Lauretta, Sadie, Mackenzie, Finnegan, and Bailey, as well as his siblings Shirley Finholm, Helen Paul, Kathy Heller, and Becky Lester.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday July 15th at St. Nicholas Catholic Church at 11 AM followed by a reception at Gig Harbor Golf Club at 1:30 PM. All are welcome, please come share your stories about Jack with his friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Food Backpacks 4 Kids (foodbackpacks4kids.org) or set a time to do something Jack truly enjoyed: take someone you care about out to dinner, swap stories and appreciate the precious gift of time with loved ones.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Edward (Jack) Finholm, please visit our floral store.
Food Backpacks 4 Kids
9127 152nd Ave CT NW, Lakebay WA 98349