Jim’s Pharmacy co-founder remembered as a visionary – Peninsula Daily News

By | August 12, 2019

PORT ANGELES — Jim Cammack, co-founder of Jim’s Pharmacy in Port Angeles, a noted community fundraiser and a long-time Olympic Medical Center commissioner, has died.

He died unexpectedly surrounded by family at OMC on Thursday afternoon, said his son, Joe Cammack. He was 74.

Services will be announced.

Joe Cammack, current owner of Jim’s Pharmacy, said his father will be remembered as an innovative man who built his life from the ground up.

“He was certainly a visionary in terms of trying to figure out how to do things better, make things better and run things better, whether it was the pharmacy or the hospital or pretty much whatever he was involved in,” Joe Cammack said Friday.

Jim’s Pharmacy was known for its fundraising for nonprofits and its other programs, such as Vitamins for Kids, free programs on diabetes and heart health, a “Charity of the Month” drive and its scholarships.

In 2012, the pharmacy was one of two recipients of the statewide 2012 Corporations for Communities Award.

“Probably one of his biggest legacies, and the thing that I try to carry forward, is he was always big on trying to give back to the community,” Joe Cammack said.

“That was important to him, because he came from pretty modest means to begin with.”

Jim Cammack and his wife, Barb, opened Jim’s Pharmacy in the former Yamaha shop on Peabody Street in 1983.

A new building was constructed for Jim’s Pharmacy in 1991.

The business at 424 E. Second St. behind the Port Angeles Post Office was transferred to their only child, Joe Cammack, when Jim and Barb retired in 2002.

“Pops kept it going, and mom was the one who made sure they still had money when they were done,” Joe Cammack said.

Jim Cammack was elected to the OMC board in 2003. He helped lead the public hospital district through a period of significant growth before stepping down for personal and health reasons in 2017.

“Jim Cammack was an outstanding board member at OMC for 14 years,” said Eric Lewis, CEO of OMC.

“He was a key leader in many achievements at OMC including the Swedish affiliation, Epic implementation and the growth of services for our community,” Lewis said.

OMC became affiliated with Swedish Medical Center in 2011, expanding treatments available to Clallam County residents, and launched the Epic electronic records system in 2013.

“Jim was very dedicated to our patients and community,” Lewis said.

“He would tell me that OMC also stood for ‘One Medical Community’ as he encouraged teamwork to meet local health care needs.

“He will be greatly missed and we feel grateful for his many contributions to OMC,” Lewis added.

Jim Cammack was born in the Yakima Valley in 1944. He attended high school in Vancouver, Wash., and paid his way through community college by selling night crawlers, Joe Cammack said.

Jim Cammack graduated from the University of Washington with a pharmacy degree. He and Barb Cammack became licensed pharmacists in 1960 and moved to Port Angeles in 1970.

Jim Cammack was an avid fisherman who enjoyed trolling in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

“Back in the ’70s, Port Angeles was kind of the fishing mecca of Western Washington,” Joe Cammack said.

Before they opened Jim’s Pharmacy, Jim Cammack was the head pharmacist at the former Pay ‘N’ Save and Barb was a pharmacist at Olympic Memorial Hospital.

Joe Cammack said his father was “adventurous” as a business owner.

He introduced the durable medical equipment that has become a “big part” of Jim’s Pharmacy, Joe Cammack said.

Jim Cammack was a founding member of the Nor’Wester Rotary Club of Port Angeles.

In his later years, Jim Cammack enjoyed vacations in Hawaii and spending time with his two grandchildren.

“He’s going to be greatly missed,” Joe Cammack said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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