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Trooper James Gain

James S. Gain was born on August 3, 1944, to Stewart Leroy Gain Jr., and Dorothy Lucile Stoll in Vancouver, WA.  Raised in Vancouver, James graduated from Fort Vancouver High School in 1962.  He continued his education at Clark College and the University of Portland.  James worked alongside his father, who owned auto part stores.  The pair shared a passion for automotive restoration, with James being a 10-year member of the SloPoks, a Vancouver-area car club.


James’ passion did not only lie in auto repair work, but he also had a desire to serve.  This began as a member of the United States Army Reserve, and led to being hired by the Washington State Patrol on June 26, 1967, under the leadership of Chief Will Bachofner.


Initially, Trooper Cadet Gain was assigned as a cadet to mansion security.  During his assignment, Trooper Cadet Gain married his first wife, Peggy Ann Bryan, in February 1969.  The couple grew into a family of four, welcoming two sons, Nicholas and Todd.


Trooper Cadet Gain joined the 41st Trooper Cadet Class and was commissioned on February 9, 1968, assigned to Tacoma.


It didn’t take long for Gain to get back to his hometown.  Trooper Gain accepted a transfer to Vancouver four months after commissioning.  He spent the rest of his career where he was born and raised, working as a Vehicle Identification Number Specialist, field training officer and acting sergeant.  Trooper Gain was honored with a district commendation in December 1982.


Trooper Gain divorced Peggy Ann in 1977, and three years later married Dona Lee Hill on October 4, 1980.  The couple divorced two years later.


Trooper Gain married Rosemary F. Luebbert on April 28, 1984.  The couple welcomed Gain’s third child; a daughter named Danielle.


Trooper James Gain died on March 2, 1987, at the age of 42.  He was struck by a semi-truck along Interstate 5, seven miles north of Vancouver, while conducting a traffic stop.  At the time of his death, Trooper Gain had served 19 years with the Washington State Patrol.  His daughter, Danielle was only one and a half years old when her father was tragically killed. 


The Washington State Legislature passed Senate Resolution 1987-8620 honoring Trooper Gain for his sacrifice.  He was also posthumously awarded the Washington Law Enforcement Medal of Honor in May 1997.


Trooper Gain's wife, Rosemary, is living in Vancouver, WA.  Their daughter, Danielle, and two of her sons, Jaeden and Jaxton also live in Vancouver.  Danielle's oldest son, James, named after his grandfather, lives in the Vancouver area with his father.  His son Todd, from his previous marriage, lives in Greensboro, NC.  James’ brother, John, lives in Battleground, WA.


On March 6, 2009, a memorial was unveiled at the southbound Gee Creek rest area on I-5 at mile post 11, to honor and remember Trooper Gain. 


Over the years, the WSPMF has lost contact with Trooper Gain's son, Nicholas, from a previous marriage.  If you have any information on how to reach him, please contact Megan King at (360) 597-4411 or


Please take a moment to remember Trooper James Gain and his family.

Washington State Patrol Trooper James gain 
End of Watch – March 2, 1987 
Gone But Never Forgotten 

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