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James E. Commons

1929 - 2020
James E. Commons Obituary
James E. Commons

Zionsville - 90, of Zionsville, IN, died on Friday, January 10, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. Jim was born on September 2, 1929, in Indianapolis and graduated from St. Joan of Arc and Cathedral High School. He then took a year off from school to work and save money so he could pay his way through college. His hard work paid off and he graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1952 and ultimately earned his CPA. Jim met his wife, Dede, after he spotted a "cute blonde" across the way at a basketball game which was followed shortly thereafter by their first date at the Indianapolis Athletic Club. The rest was history and the two were married at St. Joan of Arc (Indianapolis) in 1954. After spending their honeymoon in Northern Michigan, the two thereafter enjoyed spending their summers at their cottage on Walloon Lake, Michigan.

After graduating from Notre Dame, Jim joined the George S. Olive accounting firm in Indianapolis where he worked for 42 years until he retired in 1994. While at GSO, he quickly became a partner and then worked his way up to Managing Partner because of his dedication and recognition as an outstanding CPA and manager by his fellow partners and clients, alike. While dedicated to his work, Jim was even more dedicated to his wife and 5 children. When not working, he loved to spend time taking vacations with his family at their cottage on Walloon. Our Dad was an outdoor enthusiast spending summers hiking and mountain climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Mt. Rainier, and the Swiss Alps. He summited several mountains over his years but was especially proud of summiting Monte Rosa, the highest peak in Switzerland, and the Grand Teton just shy of his 66th birthday. Jim also loved spending time in his yard with his kids and dogs manicuring the lawn to perfection. He always had the nicest yard in the neighborhood. Jim instilled his love for dogs, mountain climbing and all things Notre Dame—especially football— in his children and grandchildren. He spent countless hours volunteering his time as a CPA at the St. Augustine Little Sisters of the Poor and the United Way.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Dede Commons, and parents, Charles and Blanche Commons, and siblings, Paul Commons and Miriam Walsh. He leaves to cherish his five children, Sarah Read, Susie (Tom) McNally, Mimi (Tom) Doherty, Chris (Allie) Commons, and Nancy (Doug) Kelly; thirteen grandchildren, Rosie (Shelby) Read, Ashley Sybesma, Nick Read, Clare (Justin Eiteljorg) Doherty, Cammie Read, Ellie (Alex) Soltan, Peter Doherty, Caitlin McNally, Jack Kelly, Maura Kelly, Mitchell Commons, Luke Commons, and Darci Commons; four great-grandchildren, Ethan and Liam Kenne, Cillian Eiteljorg, and Della Floreine Read; a sister-in-law, Russie (Larry) Hendricks; nieces, Amy (Dean) Mathis and Katie (Rick) Johnson; nephew Boyd Hendricks; and, three great-nephews and two great-nieces.

Family and friends will gather on Wednesday, January 15th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Leppert Mortuary - Nora Chapel , with Mass of Christian Burial celebrated on Thursday, January 16th at 10:00 a.m. in St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. You are invited to visit the website where you may share a personal memory of Jim, sign the guest book or in lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in honor of Jim Commons to Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Augustine Home. Jim's family would especially like to thank St. Vincent Hospice.

Go Irish!
Published in the The Indianapolis Star from Jan. 13 to Jan. 14, 2020
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