The Washington Library is pretty accurate for finding obits.
There could be other reasons for not finding an obit.In 1954, obits were pretty common..for the common man.But, if he was not living in the area for very long, did not have family in the area, or no one wished to pay for an obituary, one wasn't written.
I checked the Washington Death Certificate Index and it did identify his death, but not his wife or parents.But, that doesn't mean anything, they might have been identified in the written document.
I found a family tree written by "Tiffany83501"If you have a subscription to Ancestry.com, or can access it from your local library, the tree is located at: http://trees.ancestry.com/pt/person.aspx?pid=-693204176&tid=9919750&ssrc=http://trees.ancestry.com/pt/person.aspx?pid=-693204176&tid=9919750&ssrc= If not, Tiffany is in Lewiston, Idaho, firstname.lastname@example.org It has a photo of James, identifies Nora as his wife, son's Dewy, Robert and Edward.(Photo's of each).Nora died in Missouri.Edward died in Seattle on 7/1/1951.If you can't obtain an obit, Tiffany might have this missing info you seek.