LAKE TRANQUILITY - James August Laing, 92, a longtime resident of Lake Tranquility, died peacefully at Valley View Nursing Home after a long illness with family at his side. He was the son of the late James Laing and Mae Zeevalk and grandson of the late David Laing and Mary Mather and John Zeevalk and Emily Jane Meaker. James was born on Whittlesee Avenue and grew up on Watchung Avenue in West Orange and graduated in 1938 from West Orange High School. By 1941, he was working with Thomas Edison's in West Orange as a clerk. His father also was working at that time as a financial assistant to Thomas Edison and Charles Edison, former Governor of N.J. In September 1942, James then joined the U.S. Navy as a Pharmacist Mate serving on the USS Rescue. During his three-year time of service, he was involved in the Asia Pacific Theater of action with his fleet being at the harbor during the signing of the armistice agreement with Japan. Several years later, James was married on Sept. 18, 1949, at St. George's Episcopal Church in Maplewood to Margaret Melissa Schmieder, daughter of William Charles and Susie Almira Matteson Schmieder. James and Margaret lived in West Orange for more than 10 years before moving up to Sussex County in the early 1960s in Sparta. They then moved to Lake Tranquility and have been residents ever since. James and Margaret have been longtime members of Christ Episcopal Church. James also was a past Master for the Livingston Mason lodge No. 11 F. & A.M. He just recently celebrated 65 years with this lodge. James and Margaret were married for 63 years. James worked various places such as Ankon in Newton, Alexander Lynn and Wallkill Valley Hospital as an accountant like his father and retired in the 1990s. He is survived by his sister, Jean Audrey Madden, of Lake Hopatcong; sons, David James, of Trenton, and twin Daniel Earl and wife, Kyle, of Belmar, William Charles, of Stroudsburg, Pa., James Edward and partner, John, of Lake Tranquility, and Jonathan Paul and wife, Laura, of Andover. He also had a daughter, Susan Elizabeth Latham and husband, Richard, of Stillwater. He also is survived by 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces and cousins. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 13, at Christ Episcopal Church, 62 Main St. Newton. Interment will immediately follow in the Tranquility Cemetery, 25 Maple Lane Road, Tranquility. Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 12, at Iliff-Ruggiero Funeral Home, 156 Main St. (Route 206), Newton. Masonic services will be held Friday evening at 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials in James' memory can be made to Christ Episcopal Church Choir in Newton. Online condolences may be made through www.iliff-ruggierofuneralhome.com.
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Published in The New Jersey Herald on Apr. 10, 2013