James M. Jim Sheetz, 91, of Framingham died Sunday, October 20, at home, surrounded by family members. He was the beloved husband of Marjorie nee Flemming, with whom he shared 61 years of marriage. In addition to his wife, Jim is survived by his daughters Deborah Sheetz and her husband James Adelson of Harvard, MA, and by Mary Beth Sheetz, of Framingham. He is also survived by three grandchildren Nathaniel, Erica, and Jeffrey Adelson. He was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA, September 18, 1922, and grew up in Hazleton, PA. . He graduated from Penn State University, December 1942, and enlisted in the US Army in January 1943. During World War II, he was in Pattons Third army, 65th Division, serving in North Africa, France, Austria and Germany. As an MP, Jim served as personal bodyguard to General Reinhart, using his many linguistic skills. He was awarded two Bronze Stars for his actions during the siege at Saarlauten. Upon his return from active service, he studied at the Wharton Business School in Philadelphia. Jim was recruited by The Aetna in 1948 and he continued in the Army Reserves serving through the Korean War at Ft. Sheridan, Chicago. Jim worked for The Aetna for 18 years in Hartford, Detroit, Richmond, and Boston. In 1966, he joined Raytheon in Lexington where he held the position of Insurance Risk Manager until his retirement in 1990. Throughout his life, Jim was an athletics and fitness fan. He enjoyed tennis, softball and basketball from youth, and took up running later, including completing the Long Island marathon at age 61. His family was his focus, with his children and later his grandchildren. He had a lifelong fondness for kidding and bad jokes; his daughters fondly remember tall tales | fiction and fact from Dads almanac. Jim was often able to combine family and sports, witnessing countless soccer games and playing tennis with his grandchildren until the age of 82. Jim enjoyed travel, especially to Europe, including revisiting many places hed seen under harsher circumstances during World War II. Paris remained his and Marjories favorite destination. Even after he suffered a stroke in 2005, his disability did not deter him from wintering in St Augustine, Florida for many years. As the later effects of stroke continued to slow Jim, Marge and especially Mary Beth provided devoted, daily care until his death. The family is grateful for all the support from the VA Boston Geriatric Clinic, Framingham Union Hospital as well as the many nurses, aides and therapists who cared for him. It was Jims request that there be no public services. The family is planning a celebration of his life at a later date.
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Published in MetroWest Daily News on Nov. 20, 2013