Bothell businessman, husband of council member dies in accident at home

The husband of a Bothell City Council member has died in an accident at their home.  Jim McAuliffe was one half of that city’s powerful political and business couple.  So this is a shocking loss for that community.

Jim McAuliffe was born in 1936 and was not a young man.

But the impact his life has had on this community will likely be felt for years.

Many Bothell voters likely know McAuliffe as the husband of Rosemary McAuliffe, a City Council member and former state senator whose political career dates to 1977.  But for those who know them well, Jim McAuliffe was a force all his own.

“Since I was little, I have loved Sundays at the McAuliffe’s house,” said Carmin Dalziel, a longtime family friend.  “It was the most treasured things.  Just the family that they offer is the most amazing thing.”

Dalziel met McAuliffe and his six children as a teenager.  And even now, a day after his death, she speaks of him in the present tense.

“Jim is a character,” she said.  “Anybody who’s ever met him will probably remember him.  He is an avid gardener.  He is an entrepreneur. He’s a hard worker. He loves his family.”

He captured his adventurous life in a book he wrote about his prolific career as a serial business owner, father and husband. It has an unwieldy title: “Raising a family, running a business and making a profit with an O’Dea education.”

But his long life ended abruptly inside the home he shared with his wife.  Bothell fire officials would say only that they needed heavy machinery to rescue McAuliffe and that his death was accidental.

The shock of it is still settling in.

“It’s very jarring,” said Dalziel.  “It’s very unbelievable. The McAuliffes are timeless. I have no idea how old Rosemary is. I didn’t know how old Jim was.  I mean, they are just Jim and Rosemary.  They don’t sleep.  They’re always there.  I mean, they are prolifically active.”

She said Jim McAuliffe walked around downtown Bothell each day — just checking in.

His children may be his greatest legacy. All of them own businesses in the area too.