James Phillip White was born December 8th, 1965. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio at St. Michael’s Hospital, near the Fleet area. Though much is not known about James’ early life, we do know his life must have been touched by caring people, evidenced by his gentle manner and dignified bearing.
James arrived at East 115th House in August of 2003. He immediately won the hearts of his staff and roommates with his friendly, affectionate personality and his quirky habits. As we began our journey of getting to know James’, his likes and dislikes, and learning to “speak his language”, it was easy to see how this quiet, watchful man may have been overwhelmed and overlooked in a large facility; but, soon, we were blessed to see him grow into the confident, self- assured, meticulous guy that we all know and love.
James, while being unable to communicate verbally, understood spoken speech perfectly, and he also had no problem getting his point across. Through a mixture of ASL, James’ own personal signs, sounds, gestures and facial expressions, he made sure we knew exactly how he felt about everything. His face would light up when he was happy or in agreement with what was being discussed, his stern frown, low hum, and lowered chin would warn us of his disapproval of our antics. His laugh though, it warmed your soul. He had a laugh that made you want to go get someone, to tell someone, so they could hear.
James loved to eat and to help out in the kitchen if there was cake to be mixed or cookies to decorate. He would concentrate so hard on any task he was given. James insisted that the house be neat and tidy at all times, sometimes even throwing away new napkins as clutter. He enjoyed hanging out with his best buddy Jermaine and giving random hugs and tickles to his roommates Marshall and Curtis making them laugh.
James made many friends and was popular with the ladies everywhere that he went. His usually cool, calm demeanor and smart style of dress always set him apart. James had many buddies at his place of business, Maple Heights Adult Activity Center. He loved his co-workers, especially his supervisor, Jessica, who encouraged and helped him to be more independent, even practicing his handwriting with him.
There is a quote that says that when someone gives you a nickname, it means that you are special to that person. James was special to many people as evidenced by his many nicknames: Jamo, Yaemoto, Dumpster Dan, Jimmy, Louis, and Louis Stokes to name a few, given to him by his friends and housemates. Though he was a person who said not a word, his absence leaves a melancholy silence. He was a treasured and loved member of our family and we will miss him dearly. In the days that come, we will comfort ourselves with the knowledge that he knew he was loved and he is now in a better place doing everything that he ever wanted to do.
James passed from this life on March 20th, 2018. He leaves behind to mourn his passing: Jermaine, Marshall, Curtis, Christy, Sandra, Tonya, Jessica, Meiosha, Nicole, Tyneisha, Kay, Danielle, Tammy and a host of friends from Maple Heights AAC and REM Ohio.
Friends will be received at Nosek-McCreery Funeral Home, 8150 Brecksville Rd. Brecksville, Ohio 44141 on Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 9-10 am with the service for James beginning at 10 am. Interment will be at Evergreen Memorial Park.
Family are the people in your life who want you in theirs, The ones who accept you for who you are and would do anything to see you smile. Family is not always blood, they are the ones who love you no matter what.