James Aspenwall David – Obituary

James David AspenwallJames David Aspenwall, Wake Forest, North Carolina, died Thursday, April 7, 2022. He was born November 24, 1937 to the late William Francis and June Barger Aspenwall in the 1837 House, Mt. Pleasant, Ohio.

Jim graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School, West Liberty State College, and The University of Dayton. He was an educator with Buckeye Local Schools in Mt. Pleasant and Adena, and retired after 32 years. Jim was a dedicated volunteer in his home town. His service to the Mt. Pleasant community included the Village Council, President and Director of the Historical Society, President of the Garden Club, and a choir member, Trustee, Ruling Elder and Clerk of Session for the Mt. Pleasant First Presbyterian Church. Jim was awarded the 2017 Mt. Pleasant Alumni Association award in appreciation of his many contributions to family, church, government, education, and historic preservation.  

Jim and Kathy moved to Wake Forest, North Carolina in 2006 and he continued to be active, giving time with North Raleigh United Methodist Church in the Stephen and Prison Ministries, as well as volunteering as a school tutor.

Those who know him will smile remembering Jim’s range of passions. He had an endless capacity for coffee… instant coffee, bad coffee, cold coffee, old coffee, any coffee. Folgers Crystals always had a customer in Jim. His passion for the hunt for the perfect antique at Friday night auctions, and the subsequent furniture restoration spanned decades. His children will remember him fondly spending evenings in an unventilated room balancing a mason jar of coffee, a lit Lucky Strike, and a steel wool pad of varnish remover (of course without gloves). Jim's talent for beautifying homes all over the Ohio Valley is legendary. One can hope that evidence of the Schumacher wallpaper in all of these homes is still living on. His agricultural pursuits evolved over time, with hobbyist businesses selling gourd birdhouses, chicken eggs, compost, and even homegrown popcorn. He indulged his children with a menagerie of pets including bunnies, cats, ducks, sheep, chicken, and ultimately a beloved WV hound dog. 

Jim was an admitted Anglophile. In addition to a music library exclusively of classical music and season tickets to the symphony, there wasn’t enough British programming on PBS for him to consume. When PBS ran out, there was always Frasier, Antiques Roadshow, and The Golden Girls to fill the void. He traveled extensively at Kathy’s insistence, and saw nearly every state in the US, and enjoyed trips to the UK, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, and Italy.  Given his preference for extensive tanning and baking in the sun like a lizard, the Caribbean cruises always topped the list.  

Jim was a devoted family man. He was a selfless carer for his mother in her later years, and his children and grandchildren were his pride and joy. Without a doubt, his grandchildren gave him a new lease on life and the will to live a full decade beyond what his cardiologists predicted. Those left behind to cherish his memory include wife of fifty years Kathryn DeBlasis Aspenwall, son James (Amy) and daughter Johanna (Brad) Caplan, grandchildren Grant and Austin Aspenwall, Laurel and Sam Caplan; brother John (Ledra) Aspenwall, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by brothers William, Rex, and Michael.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 16 at 11 a.m. at the Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church, with visitation beginning at 10 a.m.

Final interment will be in the family section of Seceder Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant. Memorial contributions may be made to Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church or Mt. Pleasant Historical Society, both in Jefferson County, Ohio.

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