PALM BEACH, FL - James Anthony Karman passed away quietly and peacefully on February 2, 2020, surrounded by his strong faith and the love of his family.
James was born on May 26, 1937 to Anthony and Katherine Karman, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was married to his wife, Carolyn Lois, for 56 years.
He is survived by their children, Robb Thomas, Janet Ellen Cook (Craig), Edward John (Ellen), and Christopher James (Nancy), grandchildren Dylan Karman, Danielle Karman, Beatrice Cook, Madelyn Cook, James Cook, Kallie Karman, Kara Karman, Allison Karman, Elizabeth (Libby) Karman, Samuel Karman, Julia Karman and his brother Thomas (Debra) of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
He was predeceased by his brother Richard (Sandra),Tom's twin, who lived in New York City.
Jim graduated from Ottawa Hills High School, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Beta Gamma Sigma and the Order of Artus honorary societies, Secretary and Rush Chairman of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, a member of the Inter-Residence Board of Governors, held an under-graduate fellowship in finance, and met his wife Carol.
Following their graduation and marriage, Carol and Jim moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where Jim earned a Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Wisconsin and taught at the University, and Carol taught at the University-affiliated Randall School. The Karmans then moved to Grand Rapids, where Jim was Assistant Manager of the Investment Department of the Union Bank & Trust Company, now a part of JP Morgan Chase. In 1963, Jim and Carol moved to Cleveland, Ohio, when Jim joined Republic Powdered Metals (now RPM International, Inc.) as Assistant to the President, later becoming a member of the Board of Directors, President and Vice Chairman.
While in Cleveland, Jim was a member of Trinity Cathedral (Episcopal) which he served as a member of the Vestry, the Board of Trustees, Head of the Ushers Guild and Treasurer. He was a member of the Mayfield Country Club, The Union Club, The Pepper Pike Club, The Cleveland Yachting Club, The Country Club of Hudson, The Mid-Day Club, The Play House Club, and the Pine Lake Trout Club. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of several public corporations, including McDonald & Company Investments, Van Dorn Industries, A. Schulman Inc., Shiloh Industries, the Metropolitan Financial Corporation, and proud to be a stockholder in the Green Bay Packers football team. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Play House, the Western Reserve Historical Society, Bluecoats, the Boys & Girls Club, and the Cleveland Museum of Art Finance Committee. He was also active in educational organizations including a member of the Board of Visitors and Dean's Council of the Miami University School of Business and the University of Wisconsin School of Business, and Trustee of the Leelanau School, Glen Arbor, Michigan. He also taught "Investments" for the American Institute of Banking, and "Seamanship" for the U.S. Power Squadron.
The Karmans retired to Palm Beach, Florida, in 2003, where Jim was active as Chairman of the Palm Beach General Employee's Retirement Boards, the Mayor's Liaison for Inter-Governmental Relations, a member of the Disaster Resource Committee, a VIP administrative volunteer with the Palm Beach Police Department, where he rode so often on the Police Marine Patrol, and he was given the honorary call of "Mariner III," and Vice President of the United States Navy League. He was a member of The Everglades Club and the Sailfish Club, and a former member of The Palm Beach Yacht Club, The Society of the Four Arts, and the Old Guard Society. He was a member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, and a former member of The Episcopal Church of Bethesda by the Sea where he served as a member of the Vestry and the Ushers Guild.
A memorial service honoring Jim's life will be held at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Lakewood, Ohio on February 15, 2020 at 10:00am with the Rev. G. Keith Owen II, officiating. Burial will be in historic Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio. (HH, 2/9/20)