Jim Morasch, 68, a master at running an airport

The Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco runs like a fine watch.

Jim Morasch was both the watchmaker and the time keeper.

An easy man to get to know, a master of the facts of aviation in general and the Pasco airport in particular, Morasch had a management style that encouraged cooperation and efficiency. He was long on congeniality and short on authoritarianism.

Anyone who has passed through the Pasco airport has, by necessity, visited others.

Comparisons are justified.

Rather than the overflowing trash bins, scarred and dirty walls and indifference of airport employees, the Pasco airport always is clean, carpets swept, tiles buffed and personnel, by and large, friendly and helpful.

Of course Morasch was not responsible for all these people; some worked for the airlines, some worked for the Transportation Safety Administration or vendors on the airport property.

But we credit Morasch with setting the tone and with trusting the employees to do the right thing.

Employees were sure enough of their job security to use their common sense to deal with the flustered passengers, endless deadlines and the other inevitable challenges that occur at an airport.

The Port of Pasco had a jewel in Jim Morasch.

We're sorry to lose him, to a weather-related traffic accident, at age 68.

There will be a celebration of life to honor Morasch at 11 a.m. Saturday at 3025 Rickenbacker Drive in Pasco.