James (Jim) D'Amico
James (Jim) D'Amico, known to all that loved him as JD or Jim D, passed away on Saturday, February 27 at the age of 44 before seeing the Cincinnati Bengals win a Super Bowl.
Jim is survived by his wife of 17 years Joanie (nee Arter), the love of his life; and his children, who were his world, Jordan Elise (Jordi) and Anthony James (Meaty); mother-in-law, Barb Arter, brother-in-law, Don Sharp (Mako Sharp), nieces and nephew, Leo, Luna, Marie, and his brothers-from-another-mother Big D Lee, Ed Marquette, and Scott Rieger (and their families); and countless other friends who he considered family. He was preceded in death by his loving parents Joseph and Helen D'Amico, and father-in-law, Harry Arter.
Joanie, Jordi, and Meaty were Jim's whole world. He and Joanie shared a bond and an epic love in their 23 years together that is unmatched. The way he talked about Joanie and the way he would look at her proved it. He loved to take Jordi and Meaty to Starbucks and go on adventures on their hikes. You could regularly find him shooting hoops with Meaty or coaching on the sidelines at one of his games. Or you could find him shopping or in a full face of wild character make-up put on by Jordi, who is a talented make-up artist. And if you heard the music bumping at the D'Amico house, it was because they were having a family dance party in the hot tub.
Everything Jim did was big and over the top. "Go big or go home" is the way he lived his life. The way he loved his family and friends. His loyalty and advocacy for others. The amount of food he would make for any occasion. The number of pairs of shoes in his closet. The amount of mulch he purchased annually for his incredible, HGTV-worthy yard. The factual liberties he would take with his legendary stories. Everything was big.
As a loyal, card carrying member of Who Dey Nation, and season ticket holder, Jim was a devout Cincinnati Bengals fan even throughout the Andy Dalton-era. Cincinnati was his second home during football season. He and Joanie celebrated their 10-year anniversary by renewing their vows at Paul Brown Stadium. Even ESPN noticed how big of a fan he was – the whole family was televised in their home as part of the Bengal Fans at Home event for the Bengals/Steeler game last December.
Jim was a rocker at heart. He loved a good rock concert and he wasn't just a spectator. He played drums in three bands and recorded many songs and albums over the years. Did he retire from pounding the skins? Nah – he and his good friend Greg Julius held weekly band practices to keep their sound sharp.
A beer connoisseur, he took his love for a good brew to the next level by brewing his own beer. Think it was a nice, boring lager? No way. With 221 unique beers brewed, he made amazingly delicious combinations taking you back to your childhood (think peanut butter and jelly), or to a campfire (s'mores), and everything in between.
Jim never met a stranger. Did you meet Jim at the Natatorium? Sit next to each other at a local beer establishment? At a football game? At work? Anywhere? If so, then you were his friend. He treasured all the interactions with those who crossed his path.
For almost 20 years Jim was an employee of Allstate Insurance Company. He started his career as an entry-level Underwriter and through his amazing leadership skills, quickly rose through the ranks to be a Senior Manager. His passion and skill for developing people was a gift to hundreds of Allstate employees. In the office, you always knew where Jim had been because you could smell his strong cologne before you would see him. He was never too busy for a chat, never too busy for a joke and a laugh, and never passed someone without a "Hey man – how's it going?" and a smile.
He was a graduate of Stow-Munroe Falls High School and went on to get his bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Kent State University. He also graduated from the Police Academy at the University of Akron (and he would never let anyone forget it).
Jim was larger than life and his memory will live on in all that knew him. He was a son, a husband, a father, a brother, an uncle, a leader, a mentor, an advocate, a coach, a rocker, a master brewer, a master of the grill and the smoker (and would send photo proof), a die-hard fan, a workout fanatic, a golfer, a storyteller, and so, so much more. He took each role seriously and did so with his signature laid-back positive attitude and a smile.
The animals (dogs Tiki and Tiny; cats Ipsy, Panther, Olaf, Snow, and Stella; fish Smoothie; and lizard Lizzo) of the D'Amico Zoo would love nothing more than to eat any flowers sent. That being said, in lieu of flowers, donations in Jim's memory can be made to Holy Family Endowment Fund (Stow, OH) or Paws and Prayers Pet Rescue (Cuyahoga Falls, OH).
A memorial mass will be celebrated at Holy Family Church on Saturday, March 6th at 1:00 pm. In addition to a mask, the family has requested all guests wear Bengals attire (or black and orange). This will be difficult for the fans of rival AFC teams, but do it for the D'Amico family!
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Posted online on March 10, 2021