• Bayview Fisher-Pou Chapel
    Pensacola, FL
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James Servies 1925 - 2014

James Servies

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July 04, 2015

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Preview Entry
July 04, 2015

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed.

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July 31, 2014
Jim was truly a legend in the library profession, as a book dealer, and as a writer. But I only came to know him through his wife, Lana. Lana and I met when working as volunteers for the West Florida Library book sale in 2005 after my husband and I moved here from Texas. How often do you encounter someone in both of your fields--librarian and out-of-print book dealer? Instant bond. This was about the time Jim's health began to deteriorate. Although I rarely saw Jim, I felt I knew him. I remember his great sense of humor, and his wide range of knowledge, especially history. He was determined to keep on reading even as his eyesight failed. The Florida bibliography is a masterpiece. The volumes are so heavy you can't pick up one in one hand. I have learned so much more about him since his death--through comments by others and from the photo slide show that Lana worked so hard on. I would love to have heard him play the piano! Although a BIT stubborn, his devotion to Lana was unfailing. I know he leaves a great void in Lana's life as well as that of many others. I feel privileged to have known him.
July 05, 2014
What I remember most about Papa Jim is in line with some of the other messages left here. As a kid I would get packages containing books on whatever subject I was currently intrigued with. We lived in CT throughout my childhood and didn't get to see our FL brethren more then once a year if that. Handwritten letters were sent back and forth, with him telling me about his garden (I was fascinated with the elephant ears!) and small details of Florida life. I remember in one letter he congratulated me on using the "lost art" of sending letters, something my young self took to heart about how a thing like a written letter, so small and easy to do can make all the difference in someone's day. I received a full share of the Servies love for books, and would still like a library room like he had!

I remember being very small and playing in a cardboard train (I think it was a train) they would set up in the living room.

Walking around the yard and him pointing out the different flowers and vegetables.

Sitting on the piano bench listening to him play, wishing my small fingers could move that fast.

Papa you will be missed! I'm so glad you got to meet your great grandson Lucas before you left. And I'm planting elephant ears at the new house! :)
June 30, 2014
Jim was a big influence in my life. Although (as my sister Phyllis noted) we didn't see him nearly as often as we wanted to, he always encouraged me in my love of books and libraries. I eagerly looked forward to his visits. Miami didn't have much to offer a young bibliophile, but he introduced me to what little there was, including Maggie DuPriest's "Old Book Room" in Coconut Grove, and the book department of the vast Goodwill depot downtown. I watched him prowl through bookstores with an intensity I later came to share. Sometimes he would send me "care packages" of things he thought I would find interesting, including, once, a box of architectural magazines from the 1890s, which stands as probably THE COOLEST gift I ever received (and incidentally started me on a career as a collector of architectural books). When I began working for the Grolier Club twenty years ago, I found that I wasn't Jim's only fan in the world of books. A casual mention of my uncle the bibliographer then and now often brings a response along the lines of "You're Jim's nephew? Jim SERVIES? The 'Bibliography of Florida' Servies?!" -- and I find I've made a new friend. I'll miss him very much; and so will a vast network of friends, colleagues and acquaintances -- yes, and fans -- who share his love of books, and book-people.
June 09, 2014
Lana, So sorry for your loss. Jim was a great source of information. He contributed so much to our community. You are in our thoughts.
June 09, 2014
I got to know my Uncle Jim (my mother was his sister) initially through the mail. He was always sending me wonderful things. He lived in Virginia and my family lived in Alaska. The two items I remember most fondly: a package of leaves that had been blown off trees in a big storm (why did he think that I'd like these? But, I did!), and some stationary that he had printed himself with my name and flowers on it. How many young girls get packages like that? In my twenties I got to know him well and I'd like to think that I became a librarian because of his influence. I didn't see him during the last years of his life, but his huge presence was always felt. I'll miss him very much.
June 06, 2014
Among the many other people and organizations he touched, Jim was one of the founders of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association. He and Lana also produced the 4-volume Bibliography of Florida, one of the (if not the) finest state bibliographies ever produced. He was a man of tireless energy and a friend of the book who guided the University of West Florida Library through its early years, sent hand-printed keepsakes from time to time, supported the state's antiquarian book fair in its early years, and was always willing to share his time and his knowledge. Moreover, he was a "gentle" man in every sense of the word. The world is a little darker today without the light of Jim's smile.
June 04, 2014
Jim was a valued patron, mentor, and role model during my first years at UWF. I served on his library committee and relished his trenchant observations on the university and its foibles.
June 02, 2014
I have know Jim for most of my adult life-49 yrs. I worked for him at the College of William and Mary Library and the University of West Florida Library. He was the rare combination of boss and friend to me, and he was very helpful in many ways. His enthusiasm for his work was contagious, and he was generous in sharing his love of printing and the book arts. It was a joy to learn some of the basics of letterpress printing from him, and to participate in a few of the projects of the King and Queen Press. I treasure the memories of the times we shared, and I know that I am a better person because of our association. I will miss his letters. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
June 01, 2014
Jim will be missed by many. Jim, Odell Griffith and I used to get together for drinks and conversation around Mencken's birthday Sept. 12. We came up with the idea of celebrating Mencken's Centennial ( 9-12-80) by re-creating Mencken's Saturday Night Club. This was a discussion group, which ate/drank and played classical music.

Jim arranged for Mencken's biographer Carl Bode to come down and give a talk at University of West Florida. Bode was also guest at our Centennial dinner at Scenic Hills Country Club. We had 40 men and there was four-handed Beethoven played on piano.

Jim was a delightful conversationalist and his deep knowledge covered many subjects.

Sympathy to the family. He will be missed by many. He left the world a better place!

Norman Vickers
Pensacola Mencken group
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