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The Tri-Cities’ most famous bachelor has tied the knot.
Gen. James “Jim” Mattis, the former defense secretary, has married Christina Lomasney, who works at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland.
Mattis has held tight to his Tri-Cities roots.
He grew up in Richland, where his father worked at the Hanford site, and he served on the board of the Tri-Cities Food Bank after retiring from the military as a four-star general and before being confirmed as secretary of defense in 2017.
Lomasney, a physicist and entrepreneur, is a relative newcomer to the Tri-Cities. She joined PNNL in November as director of commercialization.
Politico Playbook PM reported that the pair were married last week by a priest on the banks of the Columbia River and then had a follow-up ceremony in Las Vegas with an Elvis impersonator at the Little Church of the West.
Politico said they met in a bar — “not surprising for a Marine.”
It posted a photo of the smiling couple and what’s presumably their dog in what appeared to be a backyard. The bride was elegant in a knee-length cream dress and held roses and Mattis was dapper in a white shirt.
In a second photo they were grinning with an Elvis impersonator.
Politico said retired Gen. Robert Harward was the best man.
Married to the Marine Corps
Military Times reminded readers that “Mad Dog” Mattis, 71, was famously said to be married to the Marine Corps.
He was sometimes referred to as the Warrior-monk.
“Always, always, always a Marine, never married. That was legendary Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis’ life ... until now,” MilitaryTimes reported Tuesday.
But the time may have finally been right for marriage.
Multiple news reports Tuesday quoted a May 29, 2017, article in The New Yorker that said “Mattis’s bachelorhood allowed him a single-minded focus on his career and a passionate engagement with the military’s traditions and history.”
It said he proposed shortly after enlisting in the Marines to a woman who wanted him to leave the Marine Corps, where he was often away for months at a time.
He started the resignation process, but his fellow-marines talked him out of resigning and the wedding was called off by the bride-to-be. He served in the Marines for 44 years.
Then as secretary of defense, he told reporters that he would not have taken the job if he were married. He had seen “too many good people destroyed in public life,” The New Yorker said.
Mattis’s Richland roots
Mattis graduated from Columbia, now Richland, high school in 1968 and then went on to Central Washington University, enrolling in ROTC.
He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1972, launching a career that saw him take on ever increasing responsibilities.
He retired in 2013 as head of U.S. Central Command, overseeing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Before being tapped by President Trump as defense secretary, he joined the Hoover Institution, a public policy think tank at Stanford University in California, but returned home frequently to Richland.
He served jury duty in Benton County in 2016, has been know to stop by the VFW and is occasionally spotted at Richland’s Spudnut Shop, once showing up with his security detail while he was defense secretary.
His term as secretary of defense ended with his resignation the day after Trump’s decision to pull all troops out of Syria.
Lomasney’s impressive career
Lomasney had two decades of experience in technology innovation and commercialization before joining PNNL.
In 2007, Christina founded Modumetal, Inc., a Seattle-based company that develops and commercializes a novel class of nanostructured materials that resist corrosion better than steel.
While at Modumetal, Christina raised more than $100 million in equity and non-equity funding and created partnerships with several Fortune 500 companies. She served as the company’s president and CEO until 2020.
Her first start-up, Isotron Corp., developed technologies for use in large-scale decontamination and environmental restoration projects.
The company’s customers included the U.S. military, and its technologies were used to decontaminate commercial and industrial sites after the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan.
Like Mattis, she has strong ties to Washington state. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of Washington in Seattle.