James Howard Berlin, 86, passed away peacefully Tuesday, October 17, 2023 in The Villages, Florida after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Jim was born and raised in Barberton, Ohio. He was a graduate of Barberton High School where he was a proud member of the basketball and track teams. Many stories came out of his time in Barberton including raising pigeons, climbing coal tipples, and sharing adventures with his brothers and sisters. Always a hard worker, he secured a job at PPG Industries at a young age and continued to work there for 43 years.
A diamond-in-the-rough, Jim was strong-willed and stubborn at times, but he also had a generous heart and wonderful sense of humor. He was known for his embellished storytelling and his great ability to fix or build anything. He never met a game he didn’t love, and never shied away from making sure you knew how to play it his way. That same competitive spirit was also strong on the volleyball court and later in the pool. Jim was an avid fisherman, golfer, and woodworker, and became an enthusiastic birder in his later years.
Jim was always ready to help anyone in need; family, friends, strangers, and his community. He was a faithful member and usher at St. Timothy Catholic Church. His greatest passion was volunteering his time to advance the cause of Ye Olde Thrift Shoppe, benefiting UF Health The Villages Hospital, where he played an instrumental role in the vision and construction of their new facility.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Burt and Dorothy, brothers George and Bob, sisters Donna and Pat. He is survived by Kathy, his loving wife of 51 years; children Stephanie Greer, Vikki (Fred) Weller, Amy Kruger, Phil (Miriam) Berlin, Jeni (Eric) Kostko; grandchildren Mary, Ryan, Karen, Lee, Emily, Steven, Alex, Seth, Grace, and Bobby; brother Ray, sister Joan; as well as many great-grandchildren , nieces, nephews, cousins and many close friends in the greater Akron area as well as The Villages.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cornerstone Hospice.
A memorial mass will be held at St. Timothy Catholic Church on Monday, November 6, 2023 at 10:00 am followed by a lunch at the social hall. A celebration of life and internment will be held in Akron at a later date.
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A Memorial Tree was planted for James
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services - The Villages - Wedgewood Lane