James J. Sakelos
1930 - 2020
Share James's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
James J. Sakelos

Cincinnati - James "Jeemy" Sakelos, also known as "Big Jim" passed away peacefully on May 17, 2020 at the age of 89, after successful and ongoing battles with cancer and heart disease. Beloved husband of the late Despina Sakelos (nee Valen); devoted father of John and Kathy (nee Fischer) Sakelos, the late Mary Barnhart, Irene (Matt Manson) Sakelos, and Nick and Mark Bowers-Sakelos; and loving grandfather of Maria (Mitch) Elliott, Jacob Sakelos, Katie Barnhart, and Ian Barnhart. Jeemy was an uncle, cousin, and friend to many. He was predeceased by his brother Nick J. Sakelos. Jim was born on July 2, 1930 in Cincinnati, Ohio to the late John N. and Pauline (nee Duris) Sakelos.

After serving as a Mess Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, he channeled his zest for life and for people by devoting his entire career to the creation and success of several iconic Cincinnati establishments, including the Tally Ho Cafe, King's Row Lounge, Busy Bee Restaurant & Lounge, and Sorrento's Restaurant and Piano Lounge. His greatest gifts were his ability to fight for what was right, to root for the underdog, and to maintain a mischievous sense of humor to the very end. Those who knew him loved him deeply, and he truly will be missed. May his memory be eternal.

Visitation will be 10:00am - Noon and Funeral Service at Noon on Friday, 05/22/2020, at the Mihovk-Rosenacker Funeral Home, 10211 Plainfield Road, Cincinnati, OH 45241, practicing social distancing. Interment will occur immediately after at Spring Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (Finneytown, Ohio) or The Parkinson's Foundation.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer from May 19 to May 20, 2020.
10:00 - 12:00 PM
Not sure what to say?
5 entries
May 21, 2020
Jim was one of the first memorable characters I met when coming from Indianapolis to attend Xavier University in 1965. On my first (of many to come) visit to the Tally Ho this high-energy, big guy was tending bar, waiting tables, cleaning-up, playing good-cop and bad-cop (if needed)...all with a huge smile and friendly manner. Four years later Jim sponsored our softball team with many fun nights drinking beer at the tavern after the games. In the seventies my wife and I would eat at the Busy Bee and enjoy his company often. What a great guy...condolences to the family.
John Tepe
May 20, 2020
We lost a great one. I met Jim in 1960, my first week in town, the first of a 60 year journey through life and adventures. Ballgames, golf, bars and yes, families were the highlights.

Jim was all about family and friends. I miss him already.
Jim Linduff
May 19, 2020
Jimmy was our favorite cousins as he always knew how to make us laugh, cheer us up and had the most postive attitude of anyone. We will miss his emails that he sent to my sister, Alexis Palmer. Our mother, Lillian Alexander and Jeemy were first cousins and grew up together. He was the light of the family and will be truly missed. His spirit will live on in all of us. Our prayers are with the family during this time. Love to all, your cousins, Lillian, Lexie and Lynn
Lynn Brown
May 19, 2020
I first met Jim standing behind home plate on the blue level at Reds games back in the 1970's. We stayed in touch over the years and had dinner with Jim Linduff several times in recent years. We also spent some time together at spring training in Sarasota. Jim was a fine friend. My best to his family.
Dave Ross
May 19, 2020
We will surely miss Jim's lively spirit and loving sense of humor. The cookouts on Nick and Mark's deck, visits to restaurants, and the celebration of holidays will not be the same without Jim's presence. His deep love of and commitment to his family are to be admired. May he rest in peace and may his spirit carry on in all of us who were fortunate to share in his life.
Cathy and Piyush Swami
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences