James Kim was a respected expert on cutting-edge digital devices, an owner of a trendy clothing store and a lover of the futuristic-sounding music known as electronica.
Yet, according to friends, most of Kim's life revolved around old-fashioned values: sacrifice, friendship and family. Those who knew him say they aren't surprised that Kim, in the last act of his life, demonstrated the ultimate expression of devotion to his wife and daughters.
The body of the 35-year-old Kim was discovered Wednesday in a rugged wilderness area in southern Oregon. He had set out across snow and ice with only tennis shoes to protect his feet. He had eaten little in the seven days since his car got stuck.
"Anyone that knows James will tell you that he would do anything to protect his family," said Jason Zemlicka, a friend of 10 years and former co-worker. "I know him, and he must have believed he was going to get somewhere."
Friends and co-workers now mourn Kim but say they will celebrate his success at helping to accomplish his most important goal during that desperate week in the woods: the rescue of his wife, Kati Kim, and the couple's two daughters, Penelope, 4, and Sabine, seven months.
"I have had the privilege of knowing James since our days together at TechTV," said Joe Gillespie, executive vice president at CNET Networks and a former co-worker of Kim's while the two were at the now-defunct cable channel. "And while I have many fond memories, I will honor forever what he set out to do last Saturday. He is true a hero to all here at CNET."
He will be missed.