YORK, PA AND WEST PALM BEACH, FL Jim Zarfoss, 61, beloved husband of Jane L. Zarfoss, died after a brief and unexpected illness at York Hospital on Saturday evening September 18, 2010, surrounded by his loving family. Three weeks ago, Jim escorted his darling daughter Mitzi down the aisle and gave her in marriage to Christopher Cook of San Francisco. His son Jay escorted Jane and Jane's mother Louise to their seats in the front of the church. Jim's entire family, including his only sibling Linda Zarfoss Elliott and her husband John of Marion Massachusetts, was in attendance. It is a great comfort to the family to have so recently experienced such a joyous occasion with him. Jim was born on May 16, 1949, at York Hospital to Doris Geesey Zarfoss and J. Ray Zarfoss. He was a Red Lion High School alumnus and proudly graduated from Princeton University in 1971 with a degree in Economics. In 1972 he married his high school sweetheart Jane after a long courtship. Upon graduation from Princeton, Jim returned to York County to learn the family insurance business from his father and grandfather. He went on to become an Associate in Risk Management (ARM), a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), and a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU). A coworker once remarked that Jim forgot more about insurance than most people ever knew. Jim embraced traditional business practices with a focus on integrity and also tried to bring the Roy L. Geesey Agency into the computer age by building one of the first insurance software systems in York County. He worked side-by-side with his father until Ray's premature death in 1980. In 1984, Jim and Arthur J. Glatfelter agreed to the merger of the Roy L. Geesey Agency with the Glatfelter Insurance Group. They worked together successfully until Jim retired from the insurance business in 1997 to pursue a latent interest in investment banking at Susquehanna Capital as Vice Chairman. At the time of his death, he was President of Susquehanna Risk Management Inc. and was the senior advisor for Integrity First Insurance. Jim was proud of his family roots in York County dating back to 1750. He loved the York community and worked tirelessly to make it a better place. His volunteer commitments were extensive and consistent throughout his adult life. Organizations benefiting from his leadership on their board of directors included: Memorial Hospital and subsidiaries, York County Chamber of Commerce, York County Industrial Development Corporation, York County Community Foundation, Tocqueville Society of the United Way of York County, the Lehman Center of York, Strand Capitol Performing Arts Center, and the Country Club of York. Organizations that enriched his life through membership included: Rotary Club of York, Bear Lakes Country Club of West Palm Beach, York County Heritage Trust, Marquis Society of the Cultural Alliance, and the Farm and Natural Lands Trust of York County. Jim was a generous, committed, loving husband and father who had high expectations of himself paired with a great capacity for forgiveness of others. He was an inspiration to all who knew him. He was a gregarious and fun-loving friend, golfer, and bridge player. His family loved him deeply; they will be comforted by a multitude of happy memories. The memorial service celebrating Jim's exceptional life will be held at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 25 W. Springettsbury Ave., in York, on Friday at 11 a.m. Pastor Stanley Reep and Vicar David Bowman will officiate. Private interment will be held at St. Paul's Garden of Memory at the convenience of the family. To commemorate Jim's generosity to the local York community, please consider increasing your own contributions, in his honor, to the non-profit organizations most dear to your heart. The Etzweiler Funeral Home, York is in charge of arrangements. www.etzweiler.com
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Published in York Daily Record & York Dispatch on Sept. 22, 2010