James Lester Ley, Sr.
1927 ? 2005
James Lester Ley, Sr., entered into eternal rest after 78 years of loving and caring for his family and friends. Devoted to all who knew him, Jim passed away Feb. 23, 2005, in Mission Viejo, California, while undergoing his second cardiac surgery. Jim was a man rich in spirit, caring in soul, and very charismatic. He celebrated life. His last day on earth, surrounded by family, he spoke over and over of his many blessings. He always measured his wealth in his family. A ?people lover,? Jim never met anyone in whom he was not genuinely engaged. His loving wife of 56 years, Grace Mary, said admirably and often, ?Jim can talk to anyone from paupers to kings.? He had only good things to say about anyone he knew and everyone who met him seemed to enjoy his company, especially his grand smile. Jim deeply loved his wife and four children. Being ‘supervisor? over his ?boys?? projects and undertakings brought great joy to his life and he cherished the companionship and time spent running errands and doing ?fix-it? projects with his daughter. Jim’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the special pride and joy of his life. Being with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought him immeasurable pleasure. He was so proud of every one of them.
Jim was born in his parents? home in Dover, Ohio, on January 24, 1927, the fifth of nine children. He attended McKinley High School in Canton, Ohio, and afterwards served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. With the rank of Hospital Apprentice 2nd Class, he was honorably discharged with a medical disability. Employed for 35 years as a retail clothier and buyer, Jim managed various departments at the C.N. Vicary, Co. A parishioner of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Canton, Jim also enjoyed membership in the American Legion Post 44, Canton’s Loyal Order of Moose #233, and was a lifetime member of Disabled American Veterans, St. Mihel, Chapter 6. He was also a former member of the Canton Elks Club. For decades, Jim was an avid McKinley High School football and basketball season ticket holder. After retiring, Jim and his wife Grace Mary moved in 1985 to the quaint town of San Juan Capistrano in Southern California. In his new community, Jim attended church at the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano, was employed part time in numerous family enterprises and developed and nurtured many meaningful friendships.
Jim was the patriarch of a large extended family who cherished him and will miss him greatly. He is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Grace Mary Trissel Ley and leaves his legacy in their four children, James Ley, Jr., and his wife Tamara of Sarasota, Florida; Mary Kathleen Ley Bowersox and her husband Ted Bowersox, Sr., of San Juan Capistrano, California; Thomas Ley and his wife Karon, of Canton; and John Ley and his wife Barbara, of Canton. ?Grandpa Jim? lived for and cherished his five grandchildren who loved him dearly: Ted Bowersox, Jr., Natalie Bowersox, Sabrina Ley Montague, Jamie Ley, and Stacy Ley Warden, as well as his four great-grandchildren, four step grandchildren, and four step great-grandchildren. Predeceased by his parents Lester and Daisy Ley, his brother Charles H. Ley, and two sisters, Ruth Fuller Adams and Charlotte Sparks, ?Jimmy? is survived by three sisters, Jean Ley Rice, Mary Ellen Cross Wood, and Nancy White and her husband Elmer. ?Uncle Jimmy? dearly loved his siblings? children, the many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews who truly thought the world of him. In addition, Jim is also survived by his wife’s six brothers, their wives, and families, as well as countless friends in both his Ohio and California ?homes.?
A Memorial Mass will be held in Jim’s honor on Saturday, March 12th, 10:00 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 620 McKinley Ave. N.W., Canton, Ohio. Immediately following the service, Jim will be laid to rest with a military honor guard at Sunset Hills Burial Park and Memory Gardens, 5001 Everhard Road N.W., Canton, Ohio. Following interment, Jim’s family and friends will gather for a ?Celebration of Life? at the American Legion, Post 44, 1633 Cleveland Ave. N.W., Canton, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions would be appreciated and may be forwarded to: American Legion, Post 44, Memorial Fund, 1633 Cleveland Ave. N.W., Canton, Ohio 44703, and or Mission Hospital Foundation, in memory of James Ley, 27700 Medical Center Road, Mission Viejo, CA 92691.