Date of death: 11/16/2019
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1961
James P. Desmond “Jim” passed away on November 16th 2019 under the care of Hospice of Northwest Ohio following a short illness. Jim was a lifelong Toledoan born on February 12, 1935 to Marshall and Agnes (Reid) Desmond. He grew up on Eastern Avenue in the South End and was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Parish. He was a 1953 graduate of Central Catholic High School “CCHS” where shortly thereafter met and later married fellow CCHS graduate Janet Fogg on October 20, 1956 at Holy Rosary Cathedral. They recently celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary.
Jim and Janet raised 7 children in West Toledo on Hillcrest Avenue; a close knit neighborhood packed with families and bushel baskets full of children; all of them part of the Willys Park and Pool community of the 70s. Jim & Janet were active members of St. Agnes parish where they had their children educated followed by joining the CCHS community.
Jim held various jobs after high school all of which capitalized on his prodigious salesmanship skills, most notably working with his lifelong friend Dan Sczesny, Sr. Later, Jim took his sales acumen to the entrepreneurial level when he became a small business owner as the proprietor of A & E Rental Center with locations on Monroe St. and Reynolds Road for over 16 years. Following his years as a sole proprietor, Jim reunited with former colleague to finish his career in sales and retiring in 2000 to his hobbies, one of which was couriering for local banks. Jim loved to drive, some times taking his grandchildren on his courier runs, proudly showing them to his many friends working at the locations he served.
As any paternal head of a household would understand, raising a large family is attended with duties, responsibilities, challenges, and stresses that Jim, partnering with Janet, successfully maneuvered mitigated with activities of bowling, golfing and socializing with the OB’s Bar crowd on Tremainsville Rd. Rumors had it that some of those activities may have been accompanied by gin (“Fill it to the rim, with gin, for Jim”) and bourbon whiskey consumption, but these rumors have never been confirmed. Euchre was Jim’s card game which he created as a family tradition being the mentor to his children and grandchildren.
Jim is survived by his loving wife Janet; sister-in-law, Ann Desmond, children, Bridget (Kevin) McCarthy, Colleen (Steven) True, Patrick (Elizabeth) Desmond, Julie (Cliff) Pollauf, and Daniel (Terry) Desmond. Jim had the privilege of having sixteen special people call him Grandpa, followed by six calling him great-Grandpa. Preceding Jim in death are his children, Megan Desmond and Sheila Heiman; parents, brother, Marshall (Ann) Desmond, and sister, Sharon (Ed) Huss.
The family honored Jim’s long held wish to donate his body to the UT Medical School. Family, relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial mass for Jim this Thursday, November 21st at 11:00 a.m. at The Historic Catholic Church of St. Patrick located at 130 Avondale Ave. For those attending the memorial mass or unable to attend, you are additionally invited to a gathering in Jim’s honor at 12:30 p.m. at the Toledo Fire-Fighter’s Union Hall located at 714 Washington St.
Jim regularly donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and expressed wishes that in lieu of flowers, any desired donations be also directed to this honorable charity.
Published in The Blade from Nov. 17 to Nov. 18, 2019