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1938 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
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August 14, 2018

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Preview Entry
August 14, 2018

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed. Legacy.com reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling.

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 Memories & Condolences
This Guest Book will remain online permanently courtesy of Forest Park Westheimer Funeral Home.
December 9, 2017
We like to have an image of how someone wants to be remembered. Providentially, Jim himself provided us a picture of how he wanted to be remembered. This image (obit photo), taken by his beloved wife, confidante and helper Ewa, depicts him as audacious, adventurous, accomplished and alive, on top of Kasprowy Wierch, on the Polish side looking at mountains in Slovakia.

In Jim's memory we start with a lesson from history.

Plato wrote that Socrates said Solon of Athens was one of the seven sages of Greece. He was best known for laying the foundation for Athenian democracy (around 600 BC).

Herodotus relates that on his journey to see the world, Solon came to Croesus, the great king of Lydia (Eastern Greece, peak 700 BC), who sought that Solon affirm him as the happiest of all human beings for his riches, power and honor. Solon refused, explaining All deity is jealous and fond of causing trouble, and that a man is not known until the end of his days.

In contrast, Jim didn't believe that a human being is completely a thing of chance; his faith was foundational to him. He was always thinking and evaluating. Nonetheless, it is in part true that a human life cannot be judged happy until it has been completed and reviewed in its entirety.

Later, Cyrus II of Persia had conquered the Median empire, and upon the capture of Sardis, had Croesus placed upon a great pyre. As Croesus was about to be burned alive, he now understood that the words of Solon about the nature of happiness for mortals were inspired by god. Croesus called out the name of Solon three times, and Cyrus, who heard him, was perplexed. Croesus explained the truth expounded to him by Solon, was saved from the fire and made an advisor to the king.

In assent to his character, we know that Jim succeeded at being a philosopher and scientific generalist, and given his relationship with his dear Ewa, we can thus safely assert that he, of all men, is truly happy.

Jim was always generous with his time and attention. Over the decades he gave sage life advice, which earlier this year I started printing out and keep in my drawer for periodic reference.

He was able to weave stories from letters, science and art into lessons which most of you here have witnessed. Having had the privilege of teaching with him over the years, I was able to record many of these and still have them today.

So let us consider the words of the Prophet Isaiah:

"Kumi Ori Ki-va Or-ech; Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee."

Jim is now home.


-John A. Dobelman
December 7, 2017
He was a good friend. He, Ewa and I had many meals together. He said of Ewa "I married up" and I thought that was such a sweet comment from such a nice man. He was the smartest man I've ever met. Our chore now is to support Ewa even though she is always hesitant to ask for help. That is what Jim would have wanted us to do.