We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Donovan Funeral Home - Tallmadge
Eric James (Jim) Wardle, 91, passed away September 15, 2022.
Born in London, England, Jim lived in Akron since 1957. He pursued his passion for anything related to cars and enjoyed a career in the automobile industry which included positions as Regional Sales Manager for British Leyland and Service Manager for Geller Imports. He was an active member of Blessed Trinity Parish.
But that doesn’t begin to describe who he was…
He was a husband who dearly loved his wife no matter how many meals she left on the stovetop too long, how many times she tried to feed him those same overcooked lima beans, despite the number of times she “bumped” into another car or tore a mirror off one of his beloved cars, and no matter that she insisted on getting a tattoo long before they were considered mainstream. Despite his love for her, he did insist on hanging his British Union Jack flag just slightly higher than our USA flag every year on July 4th to celebrate, as he so wryly stated with a chuckle, “getting rid of the Americans”.
He was a father who thought his daughter could do no wrong – well except when she may have “borrowed” the car before actually attaining her driver’s license or when she went on an unsanctioned senior trip despite being told “no”.
He was a father who shared the joy of cars with his son and could identify any car, sight unseen, based on the sound of the engine. Sunday afternoons meant Shepherd’s Pie or kippers with eggs while the two of them engaged in mind-numbing dialogue relating to the car race of the day.
He was a grandfather who found his grandchildren far more perfect than they really were and marveled at their accomplishments and adventures. He was a great grandfather who participated in making a gingerbread bunny shack covered in Easter candy with the kids, in part because there was candy in it for him - and Mr. Diabetic sure did love his candy!
He chased us into the house with the garden hose as kids, did wiggle worms in the car to make us laugh, let us ride on the armrest of the car in the backseat, and threatened us within an inch of our lives if we yelled “S-T-O-P stop” one more time. He used cans of tuna to level the chair that he used as a stand for his Christmas tree, and once spray painted an Alberta Spruce green that had clearly died a premature death in his yard after my mom’s passing. He was game for anything and loved music, which is why he didn’t bat an eye when I tossed him in a wheelchair and declared, “We’re going to the PorchRokr Festival in Highland Square today” just a few short weeks ago. He gave generously of his time, serving on the finance committee at Blessed Trinity and mowing the grass at Christ the King for many years, even while being chased by swarms of angry hornets.
He survived in spite of being born a 2 lb. premature infant in London in 1930, endured WWII bombings in London as a child, had the passenger ship he was on torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine while enroute to South Africa at the age of 12, then survived Dengue fever that he acquired while stranded in Lagos, yet most amazingly he survived my mother’s cooking. He was like a little cockroach, seemingly invincible.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Carol who he met and married in South Africa and loved dearly.
Jim is survived by his daughter, Moira (Tony) LaJudice of Richfield; son, Eric Neil Wardle of Stow; grandchildren, Vanessa (Jared) Villers of Medina, Kevin LaJudice of Lakewood; great grandchildren, Jake and Bryce Villers.
Visitation will be 5 until 7 p.m. Friday, September 23, 2022 at the Donovan Funeral Home, 17 Southwest Ave., Tallmadge (On the Historic Tallmadge Circle).
Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 a.m. Saturday, September 24, 2022 at Blessed Trinity Parish, 300 E. Tallmadge Ave., Akron with Rev. Joseph Warner officiating.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Blessed Trinity Food Pantry – 300 E. Tallmadge Ave., Akron, OH 44310.
Blessed Trinity Parish Food Panty
300 E. Tallmadge Ave., Akron OH 44310