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James Joseph Sakolosky

Posted By obits On July 14, 2021 @ 5:00 pm In Elizabeth City,Obituaries | 25 Comments

Sakolosky James COLOR opt

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.

Contact Information:

Twiford Funeral Home (Elizabeth City)

Memorial Chapel
405 East Church Street,
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
United States (US)
Phone: (252) 335-4395
Fax: 252-335-4329
Email: J.J.Twiford@TwifordFH.com

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Condolence from Jack Schusterman on April 17th, 2020 8:15 pm

RIP Uncle Jim, I will miss you. My most heartfelt condolences to the entire Sakolosky, Ownby and Brandspigel families.

Condolence from Dr. Elizabeth Colton on April 18th, 2020 11:43 pm

Please know how much I’m thinking of you, dear Dixie, on learning tonight this very sad news. I remember meeting Jim sometimes over the years coming back to Lynchburg, and I remember what a kind, gentle person he always seemed. You both were blessed with a long marriage and I can imagine and had heard you both were enjoying your time now being back in your hometown of Elizabeth City. Just last fall here in Asheville, I was talking with mutual friends and hearing so many good things about your life back there. That made me so happy then to get word about you, Dixie, and Jim since you’d moved back to our home state and your town. I always remember how much in college days we loved sharing stories of our amazing longtime interconnected families. Please call on me anytime. I send you my deepest condolences and much love, Liz

Condolence from Michael Floyd on April 19th, 2020 2:16 am

I am so very sorry for your loss. Your parents were always so kind to me when we would go by your house on the weekends ( from VES). Please tell your mother hello from me. Please keep me informed of his celebration of life.

Condolence from Katie Skinnell Helfen on April 19th, 2020 7:33 am

I’m so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. I hope you all find comfort in your many happy memories of him. I remember many times we were outside playing and he would come home from work always willing to stop and say hi to us all. May he Rest In Peace.

Condolence from Diana Dixon Hardison on April 19th, 2020 9:53 am

It is very difficult to think of a vital figure like Jim being gone. I am terribly sorry for your loss. I remember talking with him at museum functions years ago and was immediately struck not only by his keen intelligence but also by his genteel demeanor. What an accomplished life he led! He obviously was much beloved of his family and friends, one of the greatest accomplishments of all. A life well led! Sincerest condolences to you and the entire family.

Condolence from Winston & Roger Green on April 19th, 2020 10:06 am

Jim and your Oakwood tennis family (especially our Sunday night’s group) mourn the loss of Jim. Your entire family enriched us all. Much love.

Condolence from Mike McFaden on April 19th, 2020 10:30 am

Fond memories of you all. So sorry for your losing Jim.

Condolence from Roger and Ursula Tolson on April 19th, 2020 10:44 am

Dear Dixie and family. We were so very sorry to read about Jim’s passing. What a terrible loss for you and all the family. He was such a lovely gentleman , always a smile on his face when he greeted you.. Roger and I send our sincere condolences and love.

Condolence from C. Naseer Ahmad on April 19th, 2020 10:59 am

Jim was my first boss, who hired me at U.S. EPA. He gave me the chance to start my professional life while I was finishing graduate school at GWU; he gave me support and overlooked my inadequacies. Jim & Dixie treated me like family for over 40 years; it was a friendship for life. Jim was such a kind human being and a wonderful friend. RIP! Jim, we’ll all mis you until we meet again ❤️❤️❤️

Condolence from Carl & Cathy Terranova on April 19th, 2020 11:29 am

Dixie, I am so sorry for your loss. Jim’s wonderful smile will be truly missed.
God’s Blessings on you and your family.

Carl & Cathy

Condolence from Martha Staniford on April 20th, 2020 8:02 am

Dixie and family- we are so sadden to hear this news. Matt will write more but wanted to send our sympathies
Love Martha Staniford and matt myers

Condolence from Tricia and Lee Jones on April 20th, 2020 10:29 am

Dixie so sorry to hear about Jim. He was a delightful man. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

Condolence from Janice Barrett on April 20th, 2020 12:54 pm

Dixie and family , please accept the Barrett family deepest sympathies .. many fond memories of dropping and pickup up Jennifer and Sarah at your house to play with Kate . Jim would frequently greet us with a smile on his face and always so pleasant …I know he will greatly be missed. Thinking of you Janice and Jim Barrett

Condolence from Beth and Danny Jennings on April 20th, 2020 2:07 pm

Dixie, I am so sorry to hear about Jim. He was a gentle man and will be missed by all who knew him.
You are in my thoughts and prayers as are all who loved him.

Condolence from Hylan “Hank” Hubbard on April 20th, 2020 6:39 pm

Dixie and Family,

I send my condolences to you all. I also am sending up prayers for your peace and comfort. Jim was an extraordinary talented and caring person. I’m sorry that I didn’t get to know him better.
Take good care of yourselves and each other. I am certain that the many memories and good times with Jim will help sustain you.

Hank Hubbard

Condolence from Deborah Farmer on April 21st, 2020 12:34 am

What a beautiful obituary for a kind and loving gentleman. Dixie and family my love and condolences. May God surround you with love and comfort during this terrible loss.

Condolence from Sandy Jones on April 21st, 2020 10:25 am

Dear Dixie and Family,

I am deeply saddened to learn of Jim’s passing. He was always so kind and greeted me warmly. Such a gentle man! You were so blessed to have forty-eight years together and the children so blessed to have such a wonderful father. The memories you have will be such a blessing and God will walk beside you and give you strength and courage. Please know that you and all the family are in my prayers. Jim will be missed by so many!
With heartfelt sympathy and love,
Sandy Jones

Condolence from Gail & Jack Ward on April 21st, 2020 11:14 am

Dixie and family, so sorry for your loss

Condolence from Suzie Crage on April 22nd, 2020 2:18 am

Dear Dixie and Family,
I am so very sorry for your loss. I know how heartbreaking it is to lose your husband. My sincere sympathy for you and your family. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

Condolence from Matt and Martha Myers on April 24th, 2020 11:18 am

Dear Dixie,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the kids during this most difficult time. We have so many fond memories of you and Jim during our visits to Lynchburg. It is such a great loss to to lose someone so kind and thoughtful as Jim.

We were thinking of you a few weeks ago as we were making the famous Washingtonian pizza. It was really nice of you to recall that anecdote from so many years ago.

Our adventures continue with Anna expecting her third child June 24.

Matt and Martha Myers

Condolence from Alison Townsend on April 24th, 2020 11:23 am

Dear Dixie,

Jim was indeed a most wonderful man and so full of intelligence and grace. Like so many, I wish I had known him better but the marvelous obituary told us so many good things about Jim. I had no idea he was so passionate about the environment and loved pig latin notes. What a fun spirt he had. I am so very saddened that you and your girls and family have lost this good and kind man. I am sending my deepest condolences.

Alison Townsend

Condolence from John Stolarczyk on April 27th, 2020 12:04 pm

Glad to have been able to know you over the last few years. I always enjoyed our conversations and your enthusiasm in shared meetings. I wish I would have talked with you about your pre-retirement life more. I know you as a retired engineer but not the details of all that you contributed to. I will miss seeing you at Green Drinks and other community events. Thanks for all you have done, and may peace comfort your family.

Condolence from Nancy and Earl Hicks on May 3rd, 2020 1:00 am

Dear Dixie and family,

We are so saddened to hear of the loss of Jim. As your cousin, I hold many precious memories. My most vivid is that of your unforgettable wedding. It was a storybook celebration of true love between a beautiful bride and groom. It allowed for a gathering of jovial aunts, uncles, and cousins, wonderful parents, cousins, and friends. I remember it as a true celebration, to treasure forever. Also, I vividly recall how Jim’s mother, Josephine, was so thrilled to hear the news of your marriage to Jim. As a teen, I remember the great long distance conversations Jim had with her on Sunday mornings. His weekly updates about your family made her day, and she was thrilled with the birth of each grandchild – she would tell me they were each “worth a million.” Jim had a great life with a
wonderful, loving family. Our prayers are with you and all of your family. We will miss him.

Love, Nancy and Earl Hicks

Condolence from Donald Addu on May 6th, 2020 3:43 pm

Dear Dixie,

I am so sorry for your loss. Jim was such a tremendous source of good in this world and his commitment to Green Saves Green and Citizens Climate Lobby is admirable. Jim is such a bright soul and I am wishing you peace in this challenging time.


Don Addu

Condolence from Phillip Jernigan on July 15th, 2021 11:23 am

I did not know this man but I’m pretty sure I would have liked him as we share many passions. My condolences to the family. May our Heavenly Father bless and comfort you.

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