Obituary: Jerry James
1931 – 2013
C. Gerald “Jerry” James passed away on Aug. 6, 2013, from complications of melanoma cancer while visiting family in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was born and raised in Kansas City, Mo. Jerry graduated from Southwest High School and continued on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Business at the University of Missouri. After graduation, he served in the United States Air Force as a first lieutenant, stationed in Japan and Korea. After his Honorary Discharge from the military, he attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison earning a Master’s Degree from the Graduate School of Banking. He spent his entire professional career in banking, retiring as executive vice president with the Bank of America, Kansas City, Mo.
Jerry and Janie, his wife of 56 years, first visited Summit County in the 1970s, becoming full-time residents 15 years ago. Jerry found a spiritual connection to the mountains that would last his entire life.
Always feeling the importance of giving back to his community, Jerry soon became involved in a variety of community service work. He and Janie were members of the first volunteer class at Summit Medical Center where he focused on serving the hospital. He was a founding member of the Flight For Life Capital Cabinet, established in 2004, to raise funds to build the Flight For Life hangar. The group was successful in raising $1.2 million over three years for the helicopter hangar construction on the hospital campus. The building was completed and dedicated in February 2007, two years after the opening of the hospital. Jerry led the effort to establish the Summit Medical Center Health Foundation in March 2007, serving as its first Chair. He also served on the hospital Community Board from 2007-09. From October 2011 through March 2013, Jerry served as chairman of the CHI Colorado Foundation State Board. He found great joy in his volunteer work, meeting, greeting and developing friendships with his hospital family. His other joys included golfing, traveling, playing poker “with the boys,” couples bridge with dear friends, fine wine and a good martini. But most of all, he loved doing for others. His wife, children and grandchildren were the most constant beneficiaries of his generous heart. However, he shared it as well with all he met. He leaves us all with a model of living in the interest of others rather than ourselves.
Jerry is survived by his beloved wife, Janie; his children Joe (Sally); Jay (Shelley); Jill (John) Skjervem; five grandchildren Sarah, Katy and Anna James and Charlie and Jack Skjervem. His wish was to be remembered in life, in one’s own personal way. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Flight For Life at the Summit Medical Center Health Foundation. Contributions may be mailed to the foundation at P.O. Box 738, Frisco, CO 80443; made online at the foundation web site, www.summitmedicalcenterhealthfoundation.org; or by stopping by the foundation office in the lobby of the hospital.
Celebration of Life services will take place on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 4-6 p.m. in the Lakeside Suite at the Keystone Lodge.
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