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James Richard Witmer Sr.

January 6, 1947 ~ October 5, 2022 (age 75) 75 Years Old
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Obituary

My Pop, also known as James R. Witmer, Sr., (Big Jim) 75 of Easthampton, MA died early Wednesday morning October 5th, 2022. He had thought maybe he’d die on Tuesday, but he had to run to the post office that day; Monday was no good because he had to pay some bills using his customary clay tablet and abacus.

Pop is survived by his first wife Linda Hagan-Brandts and their children, James R. Witmer, II (that’s me), my wife Erin and our children Riandeau and Hagan. By my sister Shannon Ortiz and her husband Alex, and their two daughters Autumn and Lynisa, by his older sister Charlotte Seltzer and her children, Kenny Devlin and Kelly Seitz, and his younger sister Kay Tuel and her son Todd Witmer.

Dad is also mourned by his life-partner of nearly 40 years, Joan Cepek and her children: Valarie Skinger and her husband Ken, her children Jilly and Johnny, Pam Churchill and her husband Jim, their daughter Marissa, Lorraine Behr and her son Trevor, and Eric Cepek and his wife Janina, their children Joshua and Kathrianna, as well as five great-grandchildren, Julia, Lily, Kevin, Patrick and Norah.

Dad graduated from Octorara High School in 1964, worked as a warehouse supervisor for American Hardware/Service Star for some 35 years before making his first attempt to retire. Unsuccessful in that initial effort, he went to work for Blackstone Medical, travelling the country taking inventories of the specialized medical equipment made by that company. He really loved that job.

Dad was a talented athlete in his youth and remained passionate about sports his whole life. He was a popular youth basketball coach in Easthampton. That’s not according to him, and maybe the players felt like they had to say that, but he took them to quite a few championships so there’s that.

There is simply no way I can summarize the man’s life in any meaningful way like this, so I am writing this for myself and for those who knew and loved my Dad. He was a very decent man. His choice of regular daily attire was highly questionable. He rarely raised his voice, he wasn’t one to use coarse language. He could squeeze the life out of a nickel. He was eager to help those who needed it. He wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, unless of course it was housekeeping. I don’t know that I ever heard him say much of an unkind word about anyone. He was certainly no more perfect or flawed than the next man. He was my father. I loved him very much. I miss him already.

We are holding a memorial service in Dad’s honor on Friday, October 14th, between 3pm and 6pm, at the Graham Funeral Home at 18 Adams Street in Easthampton. All are welcome.

Dad will be there of course, but I may have to run him over to the post office on the way.

In lieu of flowers or other gestures, please consider donating to the Friends of the Easthampton Council on Aging for the benefit of all seniors of Easthampton.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Richard Witmer Sr., please visit our floral store.


Services

Gathering of Family and Friends
Friday
October 14, 2022

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Graham Funeral Home & Cremation Services
18 Adams St.
Easthampton, MA 01027

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In Loving Memory Of

James Witmer Sr.

January 6, 1947-October 5, 2022




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have shared

Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event
Ongoing
Online Event

profile

In Loving Memory Of

James Witmer Sr.

January 6, 1947-October 5, 2022




Look inside to read what others have shared


Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


Donations

Friends of the Easthampton Council on Aging
Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027

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