He graduated from Medina High School in 1951 and the following year attended Mercersburg Academy, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. Jim then enrolled at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for one year. The following year he went to Dyke-Spencerian College (now Myers College) for two years earning a degree in Business Administration. From 1954-1956 he spent time in the Army in Sweinfert, Germany in the band, playing his baritone horn part time and also on the demolition team. After release from the service, Jim enrolled at Kent State University, where he received his degree in Marketing. He also graduated from Culver Summer Naval School in 1951, where he started his sailing career. Jim graduated from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary School in 1961, where he received his Funeral Directors and Embalmers licenses for the State of Ohio.
In 1958, he entered the family business Longacre & Son Furniture & Funeral Home, where he remained until the business closed in 1984. He was a people person, enjoying many friends and family.
Jim was past president of Medina Lions Club, Zone chairman and Public Relations chairman of District 13C: Member of Medina Blue Lodge #58 F & I AM, past High Priest of Medina Chapter #30, R.A.M. and past commander of Medina Commandery #84, Knights Templar, Fifty plus member of Lake Erie Consistory-Valley of Cleveland. He was over a 50 year member of the United Church of Christ-Congregational, where he served on various committees and sang in the choir.
He was a member of the Medina Moose & Eagles, Medina Art Council. A member of the Medina County Genealogy Society, he was a member of their lineage societies, First Families of Medina County and Builders & Settlers of Medina County. This involves descendants from 1851 to 1880.
He also belonged to the Ohio Funeral Directors Association and the Ohio Embalmers Association, having graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, in 1978. He was the first funeral director in the county to be licensed for eye removals for coronal transplants or eye research.
He is survived by his loving wife, Marie (Vislavsky); dear four sons; Daniel (Carol), Richard (Shelly), Dr. Steven (Stacey), Dr. Michel (Taylor); grandchildren, Bailey and Laine, Rhett, Dawson, Jacob, Evan, Matthew, all of Dallas, Texas, Lauren and Jason of Dallas, Texas; stepdaughter, Deborah (John) of Berea; stepson, Brian (Beverly) of Streetsboro, Ohio; step-grandchildren Michael (Cynthia), Joshua, Sarah; nieces and nephews, Lisa, Howard, and David Longacre.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Naomi & Leland Longacre; and brothers, Richard & Jack Longacre.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 8, 2014, at 10:30 A.M., with Pastor Neal Sadler officiating at the United Church of Christ Congregational, 217 East Liberty Street, Medina. Friends may call Friday, February 7, 2014, 2 until 4 P.M. & 6 until 8 P.M., at Waite & Son Funeral Home, 765 North Court St, Medina.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in James’ name to the United Church of Christ Congregational or The Knights Templar Eye Foundation.
Online condolences at www.waitefuneralhome.com