Princes did much for the community

If there was one theme that ran through the potluck dinner held for Jim and Marilyn Prince it was how much they have done for the community.

Although they keep the building and RV Park, with the sale of the grocery side to John Akins earlier this month and last year’s sale of the department store to Jack and Mary Hughes, Jim Prince finds himself without a business to run seven-days a week, nearly 365 days a year for the first time in 50 years. The couple recently bought a home on the Oregon Coast, but Jim Prince said they will continue to spend the majority of their time in the family home in Oroville. He said he and his wife will spend much of their free time visiting with their many grandchildren.

Probably the biggest outward contribution the Prince family has given the community is all the many jobs they provided. Not just to adults, but to high school and college kids. I

A potluck dinner was held at the Immaculate Conception Church in Oroville to wish Jim and Marilyn Prince well in their retirement. Jim Prince worked at the family-owned business in Oroville for 50 years, since shortly getting out of the army. Marilyn Prince also worked for the business for 35 years. The couple was toasted by friends and some of the many people who they employed at the grocery and dry goods stores over the years. The Prince’s received a large rosary to hang on their wall as a gift from the parish. Father David Kuttner, pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church, blessed the rosary for the Princes. Gary DeVon/staff photo

know, I started working at the old IGA Foodliner when as a 15-year-old box boy we still sometimes packed groceries in actual boxes. We also pushed or carried your groceries out to your car for you back then. I was only a year there before we moved up to the new store, but I still have fond memories of those times. Anyway, many of my high school friends had jobs on both sides of the new Prince’s Center. And there never seemed to be a problem getting time off to play sports – they really seemed to care about their student workers. It was the same when I went to college, Prince’s always welcomed me back for the summer.

But what family-friend Gary Bergh and many of the other people wanted to emphasize at the dinner was how much the Princes have done that not everyone knows about. They were always among the first to give a donation to an organization seeking funds for this or that project. The new owners have some mighty big shoes to fill.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.