IDA Founder and his wife are suffering a great loss. Wayne Connell’s wife, Sherri lost her brother Jim just before Christmas of 2011. He had struggled with severe pain for many years and took a bad turn after major neck surgery last summer. Although he was clearly suffering, this was very unexpected, as Jim passed away in his sleep.
Jim was a “Harley Man.” He loved motorcycles, fast cars, go carts and dune buggies. He also had a gorgeous voice and loved to sing karaoke. But most of all, Jim was a family man. He loved his momma more than anyone or anything in life and he was extremely close to his sisters.
One of his favorite sayings was, “Always remember, Family First!” His Mom always told him, “You have the best characteristics any man could ever have and I call that “Tough and Tender.” She was so proud of her boy and of the man he had become, he was her Rock.
Jim wasn’t just a “Big Guy” in stature (protecting his sisters), he was the one with the “Biggest & Best Hugs” and a really “Big Heart.” He was a very giving man who loved to help others. There were well over 200 at his memorial service and even more at his life celebration dinner. Person after person told stories of how Jim always put others first and was always there for them when they needed help.
Jim was very supportive of the work that the Invisible Disabilities Association does to help others like his baby sister, Sherri. He traveled to attend the banquets with pride for what IDA was doing to bring awareness and support around the world. In addition, for nearly 20 years, he was a part of the local Toy Run, taking toys to children in the hospital in a parade of motorcycles and hot-rods.
He will live in many hearts forever!
Incredible and Unique Processional After Jim’s Memorial Service
In Memory of Jim Mitchell Video