James F. Longfellow, "Jim", 86, recently of North Canton, formerly of New Franklin, Ohio, peacefully left this Earth to join his best friend and wife, Mary Jane, on October 11, 2021, at his home at Sanctuary Grande.
Jim was born November 17, 1934, in Barberton, Ohio to the late Charles and Helen Longfellow. He and Mary Jane had been residents of Melody Village for over 60 years.
Jim was a Private First Class of the United States Marine Corp Air Reserve, and a machinist by trade, spending many years at Brubaker Gear & Manufacturing Co., retiring from the Will-Burt Co. in 1996. He was also a musician by heart. He played with the band Nite Life as drummer for many years, which included the long-term gig as house band for Bill Lezo's Gaslight Room at the Brown Derby in Norton. Some of his favorite memories were playing with his son Tim--early days, when he sat in on keyboards during the summers; and most recently the "house band" for Wolf Creek Players in Norton (Tim forced him out of retirement).
Grandpa Jim never missed a Norton High School band performance while his grandchild Gray marched. He was the mastermind of Team Longfellow during Gray's years of racing Soap Box Derby. Jim also was quite a wood craftsman. Other great memories were traveling through Europe with Mary Jane in 1985, including Germany to visit his son Mike while he was stationed there; however, the perk was seeing his first grandchild, Phoenix as well. Then just a few years ago, they flew to Seattle and spent time with Mike, Jennifer, Allie, Phoenix, Maddie, and their families. Favorite pastimes/adventures included golfing, bowling, camping, traveling, cards, and casinos with his partner of 62 years, Mary Jane. Family truly was his life, and he supported both his sons and their families, as well as the many nieces and nephews. It was a party at Jim and Mary Jane's, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Their home was always open for visits and gatherings. Jim enjoyed history and tracking the genealogy of the Longfellow Family. Yes, he is a distant relative of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Jim was a member of St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church via St. George's in Clinton. His deep-rooted faith was ever present and never failed him throughout his life.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jane (this past July); infant daughter, Suzanne Marie; brothers, Carl Longfellow and Clarence Longfellow; sisters Eileen Weaver and Viola Christian. Jim is survived by his children, Michael (Jennifer) Longfellow; and Timothy (Donna) Longfellow; grandchildren, Phoenix (Brandon) Cornwell; Allegra (Jonathon) McFadden; Christopher (Jeweli) Longfellow; Madison (Ryan) Peters; Gray Longfellow; 9 great-grandchildren, Leilani, Hayleigh James, Avalon, Patrick, Hudson, Aryanna, Aiden, Aurora, Alayna; sister-in-law, Joanne Wesley; numerous nieces and nephews; and longtime best friends, Bud and Lucy Snow.
Special thank you to Heather Maxwell and all the staff at Sanctuary Grande; Absolute Home Health, especially PT Courtney; and Absolute Hospice, Tara and Tiffany, for their outstanding compassion and care during Jim's last days. Jim and Mary Jane called Sanctuary Grande their home since October 2020, and we will be forever grateful.
Friends may call at Bacher-Moore Funeral Home, 3250 Greenwich Rd., Norton, Ohio on Thursday, October 14, 2021 from 5:00-8:00 pm
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 am on Friday, October 15, 2021, at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church, 4022 Johnson Rd., Norton, Ohio. Interment Greenlawn Memorial Park.
Donations in Jim's memory may be made to the Norton Music Boosters, REF The Longfellow Family Scholarship, c/o Norton Music Boosters, PO Box 1335, Norton, OH 44203.