April 7, 2013 1:04 AM
A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana and long-time educator in Santa Barbara, Jim passed away peacefully at home on March 30, 2013 while bravely battling congestive heart disease. Jim was born on August 29, 1920 and was the oldest among four brothers and two sisters. He graduated from Northside High School in Fort Wayne in 1938. Jim married the love of his life, Margery Ann Hughes, on July 11, 1942 and four days later entered the Army. Jim did basic infantry training at Camp Walters Texas and was transferred to a supply depot replacement regiment in New Caledonia and later the Philippine Islands until the war ended, returning home to Indiana in December 1945.
Like so many from the "Greatest Generation", Jim attended Indiana University on the GI Bill where he received his Master's Degree in Elementary Education in 1950. In June, 1953, Jim and Marge had their first and only child. After teaching in Fort Wayne for four years, they packed their belongings and their infant son, John, and came to Santa Barbara in 1954.
Jim first taught at Peabody School and later at Washington, Adams, and Monroe eventually retiring in 1982 after serving primarily as a 5th grade teacher and, later, as an assistant principal. Jim's teaching career spanned 32 years, 28 of them in Santa Barbara.
Jim loved bowling, golf, musicals (especially My Fair Lady) loved to read, and was an avid crossword puzzle enthusiast. Jim loved a good joke and could tell them even better. More than ever, however, Jim enjoyed watching all three of his grandchildren play basketball through high school and followed the Lakers and his beloved Indiana Hoosiers until his dying days.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife Margery in 1996. He is survived by two brothers, Robert and Richard Ummel (Fort Wayne), one sister, Joy Waldron (Montpelier, Ohio), his only son John and daughter-in-law Vicki (Redwood City), granddaughters Robin (Seattle) and Meghan (Santa Barbara) and his grandson, Kevin (Fort Collins).
Jim was loved and respected by many friends and family. While his loss deeply saddens us, he has entered into a final resting place of great peace and happiness.
A funeral service will be held at San Roque Church on April 26th at 10 am. A reception will follow at the house for close friends and relatives.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to Visiting Nurses and Hospice Care can be made. The family wishes to thank Dr. Kurt Ransohoff and Jim's great neighbors, especially Nancy Samson and Susan Saperstein for their heartfelt attention for many years.