Bluffton Today April 22, 2020 Bluffton James Edward McPhee It is with great sadness that we are compelled to announce the death of James Edward McPhee, a well-known resident of Sun City Hilton Head, on Monday, April 6, 2020, around 6 p.m. As pronounced by the coroner, the cause of his death was heart failure.
Thankfully, after recent countless visits to sterile hospitals and many transfusions, he passed in his gracious and tastefully maintained home over-looking a lagoon, to which he had devoted much time and love. While sitting in his favorite living room chair and watching the early evening TV news bulletins concerning the horrifying global COVID-19 pandemic developments, his dinner was being prepared in the adjacent kitchen by the love of his life who suddenly became aware of his head tilting back abnormally without a sound. As soon as she checked him, her greatest fear suddenly materialized: the love of her life had just silently drifted away into another world!
Preceded in death by four of his brothers, he is survived by many relatives and friends who were most important to him: his beloved wife, Joanna McPhee, nee Nied?wiedzka, originally from Poland, with whom he enjoyed many adventures in the last fifty years of his life, forty-five of which lived in marital bliss; his sister, Darlene McPhee of Traverse City, Michigan, younger by 14 years; his sister-in law, Anna Maria Ford, nee Nied?wiedzka, of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, originally from Poland; and, too many to name, multiple nephews and nieces!
Born in Detroit, Michigan, on June 8, 1935, James Edward McPhee graduated from Cass Technical High School, at the time, one of Detroit's most prestigious and highest-performing schools, and he studied at the University of Detroit. A builder by profession, a very successful businessman, he also sold real estate years ago, owned an insurance company at one time, and was very much interested in investing. A former member of the Coast Guard, a pilot and a sailor who loved racing, golf, travel, reading, and dancing, he had a passion for sports cars, flying, sailing, and devouring books. A champion sailboat racer, for many years, he belonged to the Detroit Yacht Club located on Belle Isle, in Detroit, Michigan. He loved to dress well and to see his wife dressed elegantly and with panache. He loved the company of his friends for whom he cared very much. Most importantly, he loved his family, handled his parents' business affairs, and took special care of his only sister who looked-up to him with love and immense admiration. He was always very attentive to his mother and treated her with great respect. When his mother-in-law needed a place to stay, James and Joanna welcomed her to stay with them, and, together, they took care of her for many years until she died in their home. His wife's description of James tells it all: "He was the love of my life, my ever-giving best friend, a gem, and a gentleman."
Anyone ever acquainted with him knew him as "a good friend, a very special person, a gentle and noble soul, a welcoming hospitable host, and a gentleman"! An unforgettable man, his passing leaves a void in many people's lives and a kaleidoscopic rainbow of beautiful memories to be treasured and shared!
Hopefully, a memorial service and a celebration of life will take place at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic!
Published in Bluffton Today on Apr. 16, 2020.