James Rodney Silverthorn

James Rodney Silverthorn

James Rodney Silverthorn was born September 30, 1939 to James F. and Vera Margaret (Betty) Silverthorn in Okanogan, Wash. He passed away March 10, 2013 of complications due to a stroke.

Rod grew up on an orchard outside Tonasket, Wash. with his parents, one brother Tom and one sister Kathryn. Rod attended and graduated from Tonasket High School.

After graduation Rodney attended Cal-State Fullerton in Anaheim, Calif. where he graduated with a degree in drafting. He returned to Seattle where he was employed by Boeing for four years. Upon leaving Boeing, Rod was drafted and served four years in the military, stationed at Fort Sill, Okla.

Rod returned from the service in 1966 to work with his father in the orchard and he also worked at the Chevrolet Garage in Tonasket.

He built a Water Well Drilling rig and became a licensed well driller. Rod moved to Kelowna B.C. Canada in 1967 to work for SAE Drilling. While there he met and married Colleen Burke on Aug. 25, 1968. Rod worked for Effective Machine Works in Penticton B.C. and Gibbs Concrete Service of Summerland, B.C. before returning to Tonasket where he was a warehouse mechanic for Tonoro Fruit Company of Ellisforde, Wash. until it closed in 1981.

Rod ran his own business as a Well Driller, Irrigation Specialist, and Heavy Duty Mechanic until his retirement. Rod continued to be a consultant in these fields until his death. Rodney was a brilliant fabricator and as his sons would tell anyone who would listen “My Dad can fix anything.”

Rodney was preceded in death by his father, mother, and youngest son Jason.

Survivors include his wife of 43 years Colleen: son: Burke (Christina), their children Rachel, Zeke and Levi of Tonasket; daughter: Frances (Al) and her daughter Holly and grandson Wyatt of North Bend, Wash. and daughter-in-law Wendy (Robert) and her children Kenworth, T.J., and Kasey of Tonasket; brother Tom (Casey, Bart and Becky) of Tonasket and sister Kathryn (Craig and Andra) of Bremerton, Wash.

Graveside services will be held Friday, March 15, 2013, 2:00 P.M. at the Tonasket Cemetery. Please share your thoughts and memories of Rod by signing his online guestbook at www.berghfuneralservice.com

Bergh Funeral Service of Oroville/Tonasket in care of arrangements.