James "Jim" Jay Orth

April 13, 1955 ~ December 17, 2021 (age 66)


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     James Jay “Jim” Orth, age 66 of Fairfield, went Home to his Lord and Savior, on December 17, 2021. He passed peacefully with his wife Jan, and daughter Dannie, by his side.

     Jim was born on April 13, 1955, the day that Albert Einstein died, much to Jim’s life-long amusement. He was the fourth child to join the family of Frank Sr., and Helen Orth, with two older brothers, Robert (Robbie), Frank Jr., plus sister Susan, whom he adored.

     They farmed and ranched 2000 acres south of Wendell in Orchard Valley, where Jim learned his strong work ethics, inner strength, tenacity, and his deep family values.

     Jim had the heart and spirit of an Olympian. He was a chosen favorite for the 1972 Munich Olympics, as a long-distance sprinter. A case of severe pneumonia pulled him out before his last qualifier race, however, he kept that same spirit all of his life, striving for excellence in all that he endeavored.

     Jim had many highs in his life. When he became an Eagle Scout; when he was specially invited to play piano for the faculty of ASU; when he was recruited as a pilot for the U.S. Air Force, and given the wildest and craziest ride of his life; and when offered a full ride scholarship to Harvard, are just a few.

     Jim’s greatest joys though, were his family, friends, and students. Jim met Jan Patterson Campbell in 1983, while home from ASU for his 10th class reunion. It was love at first sight for both of them. They were married a year later, after never having even one date! Jim felt very honored to count Jan’s daughter C.C., as his first child. They would be blessed by the arrivals of Jamie, Dannie, and Ryan Alex, over the next 7 years.

     Wanting to raise his children in Idaho, but having no options available for finishing his degree in mathematical engineering, he chose to go into teaching. He graduated I.S.U. in 1990, and immediately began teaching Jr. High and High School math and physics first in Richfield, followed by Jerome, and then Fairfield, ID. In 1996, they made Fairfield their home. At Camas County Schools, Jim tremendously enjoyed being the Math and Physics Departments, teaching all of the upper-level math and physics classes. He was also Network Administrator and Coordinator. Jim wrote hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of grants, and built the base of the network that the school district uses today. With the help of a few students and teachers, they even ran the hundreds of miles of required cabling through the ceilings and walls.

     Jim was a gifted teacher, and loved sharing his skills as well as helping students learn to “think outside of the box”. He was tremendously honored by the numerous students that returned years later, as doctors, nurses, engineers, even film makers, to thank him for giving them many of the skills that helped them to succeed.

     Jim had an intense love and appreciation for music. His pristine vinyl LP collection, that he would usually play cranked to the max., was one of his favored possessions. His most loved possession, however, was his 1898 baby grand piano. He would play for hours, everything from classical, to old time rock and roll. Some of his most treasured memories were of playing ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’, and “The Unicorn”, with the whole family singing along to his always slightly-off-beat, unique rhythm! He also loved playing Christmas Carols for sing-a-longs with all of his nieces and nephews, as well as the whole extended family, at the Annual Christmas Eve Family Celebrations.

     Jim loved the mountains of Idaho, and spent many hours camping, hiking, exploring, and mountain biking with his friends, especially Mark and Willy.  They would frequently have almost too much fun!  He thrived while climbing the razor thin peaks of the Sawtooth’s, or hanging by his fingertips, thousands of feet up, just to fully appreciate the view. He shared his love of the outdoors with his children. Hiking and camping at Trinity Lake with all of the kids, and climbing to 4th Peak of Soldier Mtn. with Alex and Ritzie, made for many precious memories.

     Jim is survived by: his wife – Jan; his children - C.C. (Joel) George, Jamie (Nick) Robinson, Dannie Ryan, Ryan Alex (Miranda) Orth; and 11, almost 12 grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister - Susan (Jon) Buttcane; much loved cousins - Barb Crosby Jansson, Steve (Priscilla) Everett, Dave Crosby; and many nieces, nephews, their children; and many lifelong friends.

     He was preceded in death by: his parents - Frank Sr. and Helen Orth; and both brothers - Frank Jr. (Gloria) and Robbie (Margaret). His very dear friend - Mark (Cindy) Carter, passed just a few weeks before Jim.

     There will be a Celebration of Jim’s Life on Thursday June 16, 2022 at 2:00 pm at Pioneer Campground, approx. 10 miles North of Fairfield.

     Jim will always be remembered for his quirky sense of humor and penchant for renaming, nicknaming, and lyric changing. Also, his Varney aviator sunglasses; Birkenstocks year-round, with socks in the winter; and, "The Answer Is Always Three!"

     Jim had only ONE classroom rule in over 20 years of teaching. They are the words he chose to live by…Be Excellent To Each Other!


Floral arrangements can not be filled through our website for this service. 

Please contact your local florist directly.




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Celebration of Life
June 16, 2022

2:00 PM
Pioneer Campground - Fairfield
Approx. 10 miles north of Fairfield
Fairfield, ID 83327

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