17 December 2007

James Thomas Sharer 1964 - 2007

On the morning of December 11th, I got a video relay call from my friend James's boyfriend. He told me that James had passed away the night before. I couldn't quite believe that he could be gone. He was exactly one year and two months older than I was!

The freaky thing was that I'd set up an accounting program per his recommendation a few minutes before, and that the night before my boyfriend and I talked about him. I always felt that he was one of the most reliable and knowledgeable people I'd ever met, and how lucky I was to have him as a close friend. I knew that some people had issues with him, partly because he seemed so inscrutable and hard to read at times, and partly because he could be so stubborn beyond belief. But he was the type of person who, once he'd decided that you were worthy, could be a friend of yours for life.

The very next day I got this forwarded email from James's boyfriend (apparently his family had written it because James told me himself that he never liked being called "Jim"):

"On Monday 12-10-07 at 12:55 James T. Sharer finally was reunited with his brothers and mother. He was born Sept. 24, 1964 in Dallas to the late Polly Jean Pringle Sharer and Jack B. Sharer. He was a lifelong Dallas resident. Jim attended the National Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, NY. He worked for the Sorenson Company as a regional manager.

Jim was preceded in death by his mother, Polly Sharer; and by his three brothers, Tommy, Jack Jr., and Robert Sharer. He is survived by his father, Jack B. Sharer of Dallas; uncle, David Sharer of Texarkana; nephew, Eryk Sharer and wife, Michelle; and two great-nephews.

Burial will be at 1:30 P.M. on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007, in Restland Memorial Park, followed by a Memorial Service at 2:30 P.M. at John Calvin Presbyterian Church, 4151 Royal Lane, Dallas."

When I read that, I felt waves of sadness overtake my being for the rest of the week. He was really, really gone. All week prior to Saturday I couldn't stop thinking about him, and what he'd generously done for so many people over the course of his all-too-brief life; he was also involved with deaf GLBT organizations (Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf, Deaf GLOW, etc.) and the hearing bear community. (He also ran BearyClean Services.) I was a bit disappointed to see that no one seemed to have talked about him via Deafread.com, so I simply wanted to say, "James, may the Big (Bear) Guy Upstairs bless you forevermore!"

The picture of him above was our last night together when he visited with Lou and me last August. I continue to miss him terribly.


grantlairdjr said...

Thanks for bring it up.

We also posted about him thru our DeafNetwork.com mailing list last week.



Karen said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. :(

Proud Geek said...

Oh no, sorry to hear about his passing. Very nice post in his memory - thanks for doing this.

Melainie said...

I am sorry to learn of James' passing. I remember you telling me about him when I visited you in Manhattan. Gee, he was my age...

Keep yourself safe and warm. I am off to my second biopsy this morning. You'll be in my thoughts.

Love ya, Melainie

Urso Chappell said...

Thank you for your memories. It's been over 3 months now and I still can't quite believe it.

I don't believe you and I have met before, but it's amazing the network of friends James had. I keep meeting new folks.

I've created a web site to remember him by, JamesSharer.org, and found your post.

Parpar said...

I had the pleasure of knowing James when I participated in Marge Booker's open-to-all drama group; we staged an adaptation of the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone, "The Red Fruit," in the quad behind the LBJ Building (now altered and renamed the Frisina Quad) in Spring 1987, if my memory holds. I had a great time, and so, I think, did the other participants. James designed the broadsheets and programs, which showed a stylized tree, bare, except for a single pomegranate (hand-colored red). I still have the broadsheet and program as mementos of a lovely experience.

John T. Lytle said...

Today is James's Birthday and he would be 46 years old

Raymond Luczak said...

John, yes, that's so true. I'd thought about him yesterday, and how I'd have liked to pay respects to his memory at his gravesite. He will always be a part of me.