James (Jim) F. Blakeslee passed away peacefully with loving family by his side on Friday, June 21 2019 in Rochester, New York. Jim was born on November 15, 1924 to Colson and Mabel (Fye) Blakeslee in DuBois, PA, the youngest of four siblings. It is in Dubois where Jim first learned his life-long love for golf, starting as a caddy at the prime age of 5 years old at the DuBois Country Club. He met his future wife, Donna Pennington while working as a floor manager in McCory’s five and dime store. At the time, he walked the floor with carrots in his back pocket, with high hopes his eye site would improve so he could be a pilot in the Air Corp. Jim enlisted in the Army / Air Corp at the age of 19, to serve his country in WW 2 as a bombardier, stationed in London. Upon his discharge, he returned to Dubois, married Donna and moved to State College, where he received his Industrial Engineering degree from Penn State. After graduation, they moved to Rochester, NY where Jim started his career as a Time and Motion Study engineer and advanced to Plant Manager at Delco Products. His career with General Motors took him to Dayton, Ohio where he was the Works manager over the Rochester and Dayton Delco Products facilities. Upon retirement Jim and Donna moved back to Rochester NY. In 1986 Jim became a widower, and found true love again, marrying Madelyn C. Ponticello in 1987. They spent many happy years as ‘snowbirds’ splitting their time between their condominium in Jensen Beach, Florida and their home in Fairport, NY. Jim remained an active golfer, playing his last game at 90 years old and remaining an avid spectator of the game, most recently watching the US Open. All who’ve known him will remember Jim as the quintessential gentleman, with the utmost integrity, a dry sense of humor and a love for all things golf.
Jim was predeceased by his parents, his wife of 39 years Donna L. Blakeslee and son, James Ronald Blakeslee. He is survived and will be greatly missed by his devoted second wife of 32 years, Madelyn C. Blakeslee, two daughters, Deborah of Toms River, NJ and Lisa of Gulph Mills, PA and two step-sons, Robert and Mark Schultz of Rochester, NY, his three grandchildren Erica, Justin and Vanessa as well as three treasured great grandchildren.
Please join us for a Memorial Service to celebrate Jim’s life on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at 11 am at the Fairport United Methodist Church, W Church Street, Fairport. Join us for a luncheon afterwards to share stories and remember a life well lived.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donations to the National Council on Aging or the American Heart Association.