James Ransom
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James R. Ransom

James R. Ransom, 84, of West Lafayette, died on November 18th surrounded by his children and loved ones at Westminster Village after complications from a fall. Born March 31st, 1927 in New Castle, Indiana, he was the son of the late Ruth and Elmer Ransom of Aurora, Illinois. Jim married Jean H. Ballantyne of Glencoe, Illinois on July 1st, 1950. The couple moved to Lafayette in 1957 from Park Ridge, Illinois. Jean preceded him in death in October of 1995.

As a member of the "Greatest Generation", Jim served his country by enlisting in the United States Navy and serving in the Pacific Theater during WWII. In his later years, he organized a state-wide reunion of sailors and marines who served on Landing Craft. After his military service, Jim graduated from Antioch University and subsequently received a Masters degree from the University of Illinois.

Jim was a small business owner in Lafayette where he founded Lafayette Accounts Service, and briefly owned Lafayette Mailing Service. He also sold insurance while with the Heath Agency and continued with the agency after it merged into MBAH Insurance.

Jim was an active member of Central Presbyterian Church, serving as an Elder, a member of the Deacons and a Trustee. He also served on the Board of Directors of Central Presbyterian Foundation. Committed to community service, Jim held leadership roles with the Home Hospital Foundation, Tippecanoe County Girl Scout Council and Kiwanis at both the local and state levels.

His involvement with Westminster Village is perhaps Jim's proudest contribution to the community. He was instrumental in bringing Westminster Village to this community. When the original owner of Westminster Village faltered, he and others stepped back in to lead Westminster Village in its reorganization as an independently-owned, self-managed facility. He served multiple terms on the Westminster Village Board of Directors, including terms as President of the Board. He also participated in the creation of the Westminster Village Foundation where he sat on the Board of Directors.

Jim and Jean are survived by their four children: Tom Ransom of Mill Valley, CA, Susan Firth (Rowland) of Charlotte, North Carolina, Carol Ransom of Chicago, Illinois, Bill Ransom (Jennifer) of Bellingham, Massachusetts, and their two granddaughters, Brooks Firth Bard (David) and Leslie Firth. Jim is also survived by his sister, Joan Pejeau of Westlake, Ohio. The family gratefully acknowledges Irene Bolin for her friendship and presence in our father's life during the last 15 years.

A Memorial service will be held in Lafayette at 1:00pm on Saturday, December 3rd at Central Presbyterian Church, Rev. Dr. William Smutz officiating. The family will receive friends in the adjacent parlor after the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Westminster Village Foundation or the Central Presbyterian Foundation. Soller Baker Funeral Homes is handling the arrangements. You may offer condolences at www.soller-baker.com

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Journal & Courier on Nov. 22, 2011.
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4 entries
November 22, 2011
"Mentor is my first thought for both Jim and Jean. All through the years he was there for so many of us. He has a wonderful family and they are in my thoughts and prayers." Kathy Davis (Lafayette,In.)
November 22, 2011
Mr. Ransom was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He was a friend and a wonderful mentor. I will greatly miss our visits! Deb Musser
November 22, 2011
My prayers are with the family. You have lost a true gentleman, friend and mentor.
Janet Metzinger
November 22, 2011
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Fred Ramirez
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