David John James of Brecksville, Ohio, passed away after a brief illness on Sunday June 21, 2020. He was born November 25, 1924 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Ruth Bletcher James and David James.
Jack as he was known to his family, Dave as he was known to friends, served in the Navy during the Second World War. His most memorable moment being in the first wave of ships assaulting Omaha Beach on D-day. He was a 19-year-old quartermaster on Landing Craft Tank, tasked with dropping Sherman tanks equipped with flotation devices off the beach. However, when the first tank dropped by them sank, his skipper went onto Omaha Beach to deliver their remaining Shermans. Jack said it was a hair-raising day.
After the War, Jack attended Denison College and Case Western Reserve, graduating on June 14th, 1950 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting.
He had a long career at the Cleveland Plain Dealer and served as Secretary - Treasurer of the publication and its charities prior to his retirement in 1989. His coworkers knew him as kind, attentive, and always quick with a joke.
A lifelong fan of the Cleveland Indians, he was a regular attendee of home games despite the sporadic and often disappointing results. Nevertheless, there was little he enjoyed more than a day at the ballpark with his nephews, and he stubbornly refused to call the stadium anything but The Jake, as it was once known.
He loved birdwatching, tracking the stock market, and fine dining. He was a voracious reader and was a regular patron of the Ohio Light Opera with his partner Olive.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Ruth James Davis, and his dear companion Olive Price. He is survived by his nephews Richard Schwartz of McLean, Virginia, and James Davis of Charlotte, North Carolina, and his cousin Robert Studier of Independence, Ohio.
Jack was beloved by his family, Olive’s family and the many friends he had over the years, including his longtime neighbor in Brecksville, Stanley Lalewicz. He was the exemplar of a life lived for others – abundantly generous, wonderfully kind (if the occasional curmudgeon), and hilariously funny into his old age.
We know that he is with Olive, holding her hand and singing to her as he did in their last days together.
To find you still
These things are dear to me
They seem to bring you near to me
Two lovers on the street
Who walk like dreamers
Oh how the ghost of you clings
These foolish things
Remind me of you.
Ella Fitzgerald – These Foolish Things
A Public Memorial Service will be held at a later date when restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic have been lifted.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in David’s name can be made to the Holden Arboretum https://holdenarb.org/join-and-support/donate/ or the Ohio Light Opera https://ohiolightopera.org/private-gifts.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of David John James, please visit our floral store.