James Coatsworth, 80, Neurologist, Avid Traveler, Darien High School Class of 1955

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James Joseph Coatsworth passed away on March 4. He was 80 years old.

Jim was born on April 15, 1937 in Denver to James and Grace Coatsworth. Raised in Darien, Jim was graduated from Darien High School in 1955 and from Cornell University in 1959. At Cornell, he met his future wife Joan Sargent.

James Coatsworth DHS 55 obituary obit

James Coatsworth, 80, died on March 4. A celebration of his life will be held on March 30.

Jim continued his education at Cornell Medical School, earned his MD in 1963 before he moved west to Seattle, where he completed his medical internship at King County Hospital (Harborview Medical Center) and his neurology residency at the University of Washington.

Jim was a faculty member at the University of Washington for two years before becoming a partner at the Mason Clinic where he worked for the remaining 27 years of his career. He chose the Mason Clinic because of the outstanding colleagues there, especially in neurology, with whom he developed deep professional and personal relationships.

Jim loved to teach interns and residents and served 12 years as Virginia Mason’s director of graduate medical education. Jim retired at age 60.


This obituary previously was published in the Seattle Times.


Jim had a lifelong passion for learning, and in retirement pursued studies in botany, archeology, art history and astronomy. Jim also became an avid cyclist, He cycled around Mercer Island three mornings a week and learned to expertly tune a bicycle.

Jim and Joan were blessed to spend 10 years traveling the world with close friends and exploring different cultures. They biked in Europe, snorkeled on annual trips to Maui, and spent countless hours in some of the world’s great museums and cathedrals. They viewed historical artworks in Italy, France and England, traveled to the Galapagos Islands, trekked on Safari in South Africa, Chad and the Serengeti and visited Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. Jim always learned many new things on these journeys.

Jim is survived by Joan S. Coatsworth, his wife of 58 years, his four children and their spouses, David (Deborah), Doug (Aimee), Karen (Cornell) and Kenneth (Connie), 9 grandchildren; James, Andrew, Austin, Bryson, Chelsea, Carter, Keegan, Emma and Caroline, and his twin sister Carol (Vanwinkle).

A celebration of Jim’s life will be held at the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st Street, on Saturday, March 31, 2018. A brief program will start at 1 p.m., followed by a reception.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in the name of James Joseph Coatsworth can be directed to Tavon Learning Center.