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James F. Kearns

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James F. Kearns Obituary
James F. Kearns

AGE: 85 • Greenville

James F. Kearns, age 85, of Greenville, DE, passed away on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Stonegates.

Jim was born in Cleveland, OH, son of the late Allen and Mildred Kearns. He graduated from P.S. duPont High School in 1946 and received his bachelor's degree from the University of Delaware in 1950.

Jim worked for the DuPont Company for 41 years. He began his career in 1950 at the Waynesboro, VA textile fibers plant. During this assignment he met his love, Rita Lawless. Jim held various positions, in sales, marketing business management and sourcing, spending the bulk of his career in the Textile Fibers Department. In 1988 he was appointed to the position of Executive Vice President and a member of the DuPont Company Executive Committee. He retired from DuPont in 1990. He was especially proud to have been a third-generation DuPonter.

Jim generously volunteered his time and skills to helping others. He was a past member of the Boards of the University of Delaware, Philadelphia University, and the Independence School. He also was a member of the Board of Christiana Care Health System, as well as the Chairman of the Board and Founding Director of Exceptional Care for Children, a skilled nursing facility that serves technology-dependent children and their families in Delaware. His interest in helping the disabled and their families was a source of Jim's particular devotion to his work with Easter Seals of Delaware & Maryland's Eastern Shore, where he served as Chairman of the Board and was honored with both the National Easter Seals Volunteer Award and, in 2013, the Delaware Easter Seals Lifetime of Service Award.

Jim was an avid golfer and card player, who cherished taking a few bucks from his friends on the course or at the poker or gin rummy table. He was also a proud and diehard Phillies and Eagles fan.

Jim is predeceased by his beloved wife of 53 years, Rita Lawless Kearns, his brother Donald and his grandchildren Matthew and Molly Connell. He is survived by his daughter, Patti Connell and her husband Larry, of Hockessin, DE; sons James F. Kearns, Jr. and his wife Linda, of Hockessin, DE, and Thomas G. Kearns, of Lincoln University, PA; grandchildren Ryan (Megan), Ben and Spencer Connell, Emily and James Kearns III, Stephanie Kepplinger (Keith), Jamie Lee and Michael Kearns; and great-grandchildren Logan, Landon and Reagan. He is also survived by his friend Judy Sullivan.

The family would like to thank the amazing people at Stonegates who so lovingly cared for Jim for the last four years. They would also like to thank Jim's many friends whose visits and calls brought great joy to Jim in his final years.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 am on Friday, March 14, 2014 at St. Joseph's on the Brandywine Church, 10 Old Church Road, Greenville, DE 19807. Friends may call on Thursday evening, March 13, 2014 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the CHANDLER FUNERAL HOME, 7230 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin. Interment will follow the mass in St. Joseph's on the Brandywine Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to Easter Seals Delaware & Maryland's Eastern Shore, 61 Corporate Circle, New Castle, DE 19720.

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Published in The News Journal from Mar. 11 to Mar. 13, 2014
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