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James F. Bargmann 89, of Woodcliff Lake, NJ passed away peacefully in his home on Monday, January 21, 2013. Beloved husband of the late Alice Jane Bargmann, nee Badenhope.
Devoted father of Celia, Marcia, Jeb, Elizabeth, Martha, Julie, Nat and Joe.
Loving grandfather of Ben, Caitlin, Kara, Rachel, Brian, Natalie, Samantha, Carly and James.
He is predeceased by his brothers, Carl and Robert.
James Frederick Bargmann, called Jim, was born January 17, 1924, at Toledo, Ohio's Mercy Hospital to Carl Frederick Bargmann and Lillian Frances Ragan, of Napoleon, Ohio. His birth certificate notes that he entered the world at 4:52 a.m.; his friends and family confirm that he remained an early riser for the rest of his life.
After graduating from Thomas A. DeVilbiss High School in Toledo, Jim entered the University of Michigan, in 1941; one classmate at both DeVilbiss and Michigan was his longtime friend Bob Chappius, the late famed Michigan football player and World War II hero. Jim was just 17 at the onset of the war, but he enlisted in 1942, after the age requirement was lowered from 21 to 18. "I learned that the toughest standards of physical and mental requirements were in Naval Aviation," he wrote later in a letter to a grandson. "So I tried for the best."
In late 1942, he became a Naval Aviation Cadet, withdrew from school, and entered training for active duty. While stationed at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, he received his "Navy Wings of Gold," and, "Boy, was I proud," he wrote. In July 1945, just prior to being assigned to the invasion of Tokyo Bay, President Truman "ordered the use of the atomic bomb on Japan," Jim wrote.
He returned to school, in Michigan, and to his family's home, on Robinwood Avenue, in Toledo. In 1948, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics; a year later he married Ms. Badenhope.
In a professional career that spanned some 35 years, Jim had just one full-time employer, Owens-Illinois. He spent the lion's share of his time with the company as the New York District Sales Manager; his children fondly remember traveling into New York from the family home in New Jersey to visit Jim in his office, high in the iconic Chrysler Building. "He has trained a great number of men who have advanced to higher positions in the Company," an internal publication noted upon recognition of his 25th anniversary with the company, in 1973.
Jim was a fierce competitor in everything from sales to golf to gin rummy. He enjoyed all of those things, in addition to hunting, fishing, bowling, and "betting the ponies." (In recent years, he was a parishioner of Our Lady Mother of the Church a member of Activities Unlimited and an avid Bridge player.)
He will be remembered for his passion for all of these things, and for his faith, but above all, for his devotion to his family and friends.
Funeral Mass 10:00 a.m. on Saturday at Our Lady Mother of the Church, Woodcliff Lake, NJ. Cremation is private. Visitation 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. on Friday at the Robert Spearing Funeral Home, Inc., 155 Kinderkamack Road, Park Ridge, NJ.
If you prefer, donations in memory of James F. Bargmann may be made to Thomas R. S. Burgin Parents Fund at Children's Aid and Family Services, Inc., 200 Robin Road, Paramus, NJ 07652.
Published in Toledo Blade on Jan. 24, 2013