James Kaska

Enumclaw resident James H. Kaska, 77, died Oct. 14, 2011.

He was born April 5, 1934, in Fairfield, Iowa, to Beatrice and Eugene Kaska and spent his childhood on the family farm. He attended Iowa State University on a basketball scholarship and was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He graduated in 1956 with a degree in civil engineering. His first job was in Vietnam, before the war, designing highway systems there. He then went to Thule, Greenland, to work on the B MEWS radar construction. Other projects took him to Quebec to work on a harbor project and to Denver to work on the construction of the Titan Ballistic Missile. He was later transferred to the missile site in Moses Lake, Wash., and later was hired by the Washington Department of Transportation. His first job was to design and oversee the construction of the Evergreen Point Bridge. He spent 28 years with WDOT and retired as the district maintenance engineer for the Seattle District.

Upon retiring, Jim became an independent consultant, specializing in value engineering. He spent time in Alaska doing work for the military.

His hobbies included gardening, fixing and rebuilding laptop computers and repairing chainsaws. He enjoyed steelhead and salmon fishing, staying at his beach house near Sequim, Wash., hiking, crabbing, and shrimping. He enjoyed playing poker with both the family and also a group of friends with whom he had worked for many years at WDOT.

He is survived by his wife Karen (Long) of 49 years; children Becky Kaska, Andrew Kaska, Mark Kaska, Christopher Kaska, Jennifer Bone, and Kevin Kaska; and seven grandchildren.

A prayer vigil is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at Weeks’ Funeral Home in Buckley. A funeral mass is scheduled for 11 a.m., Friday, Oct. 21, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Enumclaw. Burial will be at Evergreen Memorial Park, Enumclaw. The Rev. Bill Kaska from Iowa will officiate.

Remembrances may be made to Group Health Tacoma Hospice, P.O. Box 34015, Seattle, 98124, or Catholic Community Services.

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