Jim Sakolosky, 79, died on April 13, 2020 surrounded by his family. You didn’t have to know Jim well to know that he was a man of integrity, kindness and love. He was gifted at connecting with people around him and making others feel appreciated. Jim had a deep connection with the earth and an even deeper connection with his family. He enthusiastically welcomed any opportunity to merge those passions. He regularly recruited his children and their spouses to march in clean energy rallies, build gardens, and plant trees. His grandchildren loved driving the tractor with Gramps, harvesting his garden, and tallying fish caught during their visits. When he was not able to enjoy his family in person, he enjoyed long phone conversations and daily pictures of his grandchildren.
Jim was born and raised in Chicago. He earned his BSEE from Bradley University and MS in systems engineering from Stanford University. After Stanford, Jim worked on the Apollo space program at Bellcomm, Inc., in Washington, D.C. There he met Dixie Nash whom he married in 1971. As the Apollo program ended, Jim studied law, earning his JD from Georgetown University. After law school, Jim nurtured his abiding commitment to environmental quality through his work at the US Environmental Protection Agency. In 1983 Jim and family moved to Lynchburg, VA. For twenty-six years, Jim practiced law as a partner in the firm Davidson & Sakolosky. In 2011 the couple moved to Elizabeth City to enjoy their retirement.
Jim spent his 79 years enriching his earth, community, family, and friends. He taught us that quality time with family is more memorable than material gifts; hand-written letters are nice, and letters in Pig Latin are better; and a calm demeanor can calm the fussiest baby. He taught us to take care of our bodies through his love for running, yoga, and tennis but also to enjoy a good bagel or treat. Jim taught us to follow instructions, do our research, and take time to do things well. Because of Jim, we know that basketball games are a great place to bond with your kids and that church is a great place for a quality nap. He taught us to spread kindness thicker than the peanut butter on our sandwiches and to never shy away from a tight hug. We are nicer and wiser for loving him.
Jim is survived by his wife of forty-eight years, Dixie Nash Sakolosky; three children, John Thomas Sakolosky (Erin) of Goffstown, NH, Anna Ownby (Steven) of Houston, TX, and Kate Brandspigel (Jake) of Norfolk, VA; six grandchildren, Oliver and Wilder Jane Sakolosky, Paige and Neil Ownby, and Eliza and Mack Brandspigel; his sister, Diane Weber of Oak Lawn, IL; and his twin brother, Jack Sakolosky of Houston, TX.
The covid pandemic prevented family and friends from gathering for a memorial service at the time of death. The family will now hold a celebration of Jim’s life on Saturday, July 31, at 10:00 AM at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1453 N. Road Street, Elizabeth City, NC. A reception following the service will take place at the family’s residence. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Green $aves Green, PO Box 1737, Elizabeth City NC 27906; Arts of the Albemarle, artsaoa.org; or a charity of your choice. Twiford Funeral Home, 405 East Church Street, Elizabeth City, NC is serving the Sakolosky family. Online memorial condolences may be sent to the family at www.TwifordFH.com.
Twiford Funeral Home (Elizabeth City)
405 East Church Street,