Fireman Funeral Service
Obituary of James Leith III
In Loving Memory of James “Jim” Leith, III
With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of James Leith, III, a loving husband, devoted father, cherished grandfather, and respected community member. Jim peacefully departed this world on February 2nd, 2024, in Titusville, Florida.
Born on January 28, 1938, Jim was the second of five children of James and Wilda Leith Jr. The Leith family settled in Denville, NJ and Jim attended Morris Hills High School, class of 1956, before entering the workforce. In 1964, he married the love of his life, Joan.
Staying in Denville, Jim and Joan raised their family, leaving an indelible mark on the town. Jim’s commitment to community service was evident through his involvement with The Lion's Club and The Denville Volunteer Fire Department, where he rose to Lieutenant Exempt in the NJ Fire Fighters Association. Jim also served on the board of directors for The Franciscan Oaks.
Jim was a natural salesperson and successfully worked for several high-profile companies before becoming his own boss and starting several businesses, James Leith Associates, Turbon Plastics and Data Ribbon Express. Traveling between Europe and the US for work, Jim could enjoy cultural experiences few could at the time. His passion for travel sparked; he and Joan spent time in the Netherlands, Germany, Scotland, England, and multiple islands in the Caribbean. The accomplishments of these business ventures allowed Jim to retire in his early fifties.
Shortly after retiring in 1987, Jim and Joan relocated to Waitsfield, Vermont where Jim continued to immerse himself in community service, contributing to the local school board, the Masons, and the 4H board. He organized numerous fundraising events that benefited those in need, including the fundraiser for the first woman in Vermont to pass from AIDS.
A natural-born traveler, RVing was always a passion for Jim. The couple crisscrossed the continental United States dozens of times and made several trips into Canada. During their adventures, they would take their grandsons, Max and Ben, along on their adventures each summer. They also conducted genealogy research and visited cemeteries, placing headstones on the unmarked graves of long-dead ancestors. Jim’s compassion for his family, living or deceased, had no limits.
In 1995, Jim and Joan moved to Titusville, Florida. In true Jim style, he quickly got active in this new community, lending a helping hand and organizing charitable initiatives. Jim was twice a past Master at his local Mason’s chapter in Titusville.
Jim was a man of diverse interests and passions. From RVing nationwide to participating in the RAAM coast-to-coast bicycle race driving the team RV, his zest for life was infectious. He found joy in genealogy, coin collecting, reading history, fishing, singing in the Church Choir, and watching westerns. Jim’s sense of humor was evident in his love for all things Bugs Bunny.
A proud Scotsman, Jim embodied loyalty, humility, and a principled nature. His impact reached far beyond his immediate family, touching the lives of countless individuals. He will be remembered for his boundless generosity, kind spirit, and genuine love for people. His compassion for his community was only trumped by his love and devotion to his family. Jim’s journey was marked by resilience, compassion, and an unwavering commitment to positively impacting the world around him. Jim led a humble life that touched the hearts of many, especially his family. Jim’s words just days before he passed were, “I have had a great life and a great family. I’ve been very fortunate.”
Jim was predeceased by two of his daughters, Donna and Jacqueline, and grandson, Joseph, as well as his parents, his sister, Nora, and his brothers, John and Robert. Jim leaves behind his beloved wife of 59 years, Joan Leith, son James Leith IV, daughter Janna (Karl) Wianecki, son Ian (Angela) Leith and his brother Rodney Leith. He also leaves a legacy through his grandchildren, Max and Ben Wianecki, James V., Christopher, Kyle, Kim, and Dana; five great-grandchildren, Landen, Cooper, Jak, Evan, and Hailey; and many nieces and nephews.
A public visitation to celebrate Jim's life will be held on Thursday, February 15th, from 4 – 7 pm at Norman Dean Home for Services, 16 Righter Avenue, Denville. Burial will occur on Saturday, February 17th, at 12 pm at Denville Cemetery, Savage Road, Denville, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests memorial donations in memory of James Leith III to The Denville Volunteer Fire Department, Attn: Danielle Lamont, 1 Saint Mary's Place, Denville, NJ 07834.
Please join us in remembering this truly incredible man. Share your condolences and memories, or light a candle to honor Jim's enduring light that will forever shine in our hearts. Though his physical presence may be gone, his spirit lives on in the love and memories he leaves behind.
16 RIGHTER AVENUE, DENVILLE, NJ 07834
DAVID G. MILNE, MANAGER NJ LIC. NO. 4301
SERVING THE DENVILLE, ROCKAWAY, PARSIPPANY, Mt. Lakes, Boonton,
Morris Plains & SURROUNDING AREAS OF NEW JERSEY SINCE 1957
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