James Reginald Reisch of Greenville passed away Saturday April 21, 2007 in his home at Green Acres Retirement Living. He was 81. Born in Buffalo, New York, Jim spent most of his childhood years in Eden, NY where he met his lifelong love, Gloria-June Frances Meyers. The couple married on December 26, 1949 in Hamburg, NY at SS. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church and resided in Hamburg, NY for 49 years, before moving to Greenville in 1998 to be with their children. They were married for over 53 years when Gloria passed away on April 2, 2003. Jim and Gloria raised two children, Frances Marie (Schuleit) and the late Andrew James.
A graduate of George Washington University, Jim majored in foreign affairs and journalism. A United States Navy veteran of 10 years, he served aboard the USS Euryale, a submarine tender in the South Pacific, in World War II. He also served in the Korean War before embarking upon a career in journalism with the Buffalo News, where he worked for 40 years.
Jim and Gloria were active in both communities. In Hamburg, they served as scout leaders, volunteers in the St. Vincent De Paul Society, Hamburg Holidays, Parent Teacher Association, Hamburg Little Theater, SS. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, and AIDS Community Services. In Greenville, they were active with Habitat for Humanity, Spectrum Health United Memorial Auxiliary, Medicare-Medicaid Assistance Program, Friends of the Flat River Community Library, and Mentoring program. They were members of St. Charles Catholic Church.
Together with his sister Sandra McElligott Picone, Jim authored their autobiography, A Child Out There. The book was written as a tribute to two proud, gutsy, and magnificent women – one who gave life to both of them, and one who raised Jim as her own. It was not until Jim was 65 years old that he met his sister Sandra, who reached out to Jim and embraced him and his family, and joined them with her own.
Jim was fondly known as Grandpa Jim by nearly 200 fourth grade students from 2002 – 2007. He went to school daily to work with students of Mrs. Linda Custer and Mr. Glenn Perry at the Walnut Hills Elementary School. “There’s something special about waking up each school day morning, and knowing that it’s your turn to bring sunshine into young lives,” Jim has said. Recently, Jim and his family formed the Reisch Family Fund for Children, an endowment with the Greenville Area Community Foundation. The fund is intended to support children with spiritual, emotional, educational and health care challenges.
He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Frances and Robert Schuleit of Greenville; grandchildren Jonathan G. Schuleit of Hamburg, NY, Patrick M. and Erin C. Schuleit of Lutz, Florida; sister Sandra McElligott Picone and her children, Hillary Longo-Clark and John Clark, Leslie and Brian Rosenthal, James and Katie Longo, all of Florida; brother Lawrence Reisch of Oregon; nieces and nephews Ronald and Cindy Reisch, Robert Reisch of Eden, NY; Mary Jo and Ronald Kriz of Massachusetts; Kate Ruhlman of Hamburg, NY; in-laws Rita and David Thomas, Janet Neseman of Hamburg, NY, and their children David and Mimi Thomas, Susan and Mark Warren, Dale and Jackie Neseman, Wendy and Craig Hall. He will be survived by his first great grandchild, to be born to Erin and Patrick Schuleit.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Gloria-June Frances Meyers Reisch; his parents, Isadore and Marie Steeg Reisch; brother David Reisch, and his son, Andrew James Reisch.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, April 26 at 11 AM from St. Charles Catholic Church in Greenville, Michigan with Rev. Phil Salmonowicz as celebrant. A celebratory reception will be held at the Greenville Country Club immediately following the Mass. A Vigil service will be held on Wednesday at 7:30 PM at Hurst Funeral Home with visitation from 6 – 8 PM. Burial will be in Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Eden New York, at a date to be announced. The family invites memorial contributions to the Reisch Family Fund for Children, Greenville Area Community Foundation, 101 N. Lafayette St., Greenville, MI 48838.
Messages of condolence may be sent via hurstfuneralhome.com.