James G. Law, 90, of Greene Avenue, Canaan, Connecticut, formerly of Sheffield, Massachusetts, died June 10, 2018.
He was born June 30, 1927, in Lindenhurst, Long Island, New York, the son of Ann Gilligan Law and William C. Law. James grew up in Lindenhurst and graduated from Lindenhurst High School in 1945. He enlisted in the Navy in January of 1945 at the age of 17. Just before graduation from high school, he left for basic training in Sampson, New York. He served in the Navy from June 1945 through August 1946 as a seaman first class and boatswain mate aboard the USS Sangay, which was an ammunition supply ship in World War II. The Sangay toured the South Pacific shuttling mines and ammunition to ships serving in the Pacific theater. He received the Victory Medal, American Theater Medal and Asiatic Pacific Medal for his service.
After serving in the Navy, he worked at Bulk’s Nursery in Babylon, New York, where he learned horticulture and landscape design. Together, he and his high school sweetheart, the former Emily M. Haber, purchased and ran the Little Flower Shop in Lindenhurst, Long Island, New York. In 1957, the family moved to Sheffield where they owned and operated the Undermountain Orchards in Sheffield and later the Sheffield Flower and Garden Shop and Sheffield Landscape Contracting. Jim designed and executed exquisite plantings for many homes and businesses in southern Berkshire County and northwestern Connecticut. He was also known for the beautiful brick and stone work which enhanced his designs. He continued this work, both in the Sheffield area and in Florida, into his 80s. In 2013, he retired to Canaan and lived with his daughter, Linda, and her husband.
James was active in each of his communities and believed that giving back was an important part of being a responsible person. He served several terms on the Sheffield Planning Board and acted as its chair during his tenure. He was also a proud Kiwanian while in Lindenhurst and in Sheffield. He was active in the Kiwanis Club for over 70 years. He served the Sheffield Kiwanis Club in a variety of positions including president. He was an avid athlete and believed that youngsters should have opportunities to participate in sports. For many years he organized and coordinated the Sheffield Little League program, which was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club. He also coached Little League and basketball. Jim was also a baseball umpire. He umpired games across Berkshire County. He was also very active in his church community and managed the Our Lady of the Valley church cemetery for years.
James was a hard worker; he gave his all to any project or job he undertook. He was honest, kind and compassionate. He believed that people, regardless of their heritage, should be treated with kindness and respect. He went out of his way to help others and was totally devoted to his family and friends. His greeting of “Hello, My Friend,” was shared with all those he encountered. He lived his life with integrity and spread that message by example wherever he went.
James is survived by his beloved children James Jr. and wife Susan Law of Sheffield and daughter Linda and husband David Peppe of Canaan, Connecticut; his grandchildren Ian Law, Emily Law and partner Justin Grahn, Robert and wife Phyllis Law, Jamie and wife Erica Law, Daniel and wife Sholly, and Louise Peppe and husband Brad McLeod; and great-grandchildren Alissa Rathbun, Nia, Annabelle, Taylor, Claire and Piper Law as well as Anna and James Peppe and Linden Peppe McLeod. He was predeceased by his wife, Emily, in 1971, and their son Robert W. Law in 2018, as well as his second wife Florence Law in 1995. He also leaves behind his partner of many years, Alma Joyce Ring, of Indianapolis, Indiana.
A Liturgy of Christian burial will be held Saturday, June 16, 2018, at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Church in Canaan, Connecticut, conducted by the Rev. Iain Highet. Burial with military honors will follow at Our Lady of the Valley cemetery in Sheffield, Massachusetts. The family will receive friends Friday, June 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. at FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Sheffield Kiwanis Club James G. Law Scholarship Fund. This fund was established in 2007 by his family in honor of his 80th birthday. Yearly scholarships are offered to a deserving graduating senior from Mount Everett Regional High School who wishes to study landscape design or horticulture. To send remembrances to his family please visit http://www.finnertyandstevens.com.