I won't attempt to truly convey Jim's qualities, as words don't capture him at all. You had to be around him - know him, to really understand what I'm talking about. He was - again for lack of better words - of a different era. Politicians like to talk about the American spirit, the good-ol-days, the time when men were honorable. Our modern cynicism casts aside those sentiments, arrogantly asserting that they don't exist, and never existed. But we are wrong. I know we are because I knew Jim.
Jim was completely selfless, serving others in every way a person can serve - his friends, his family, his community, his country - we were all better people when he was around. His wit and humor are the stuff of legend - I cannot think of a single Bricker dinner when the table wasn't in hysterics by the first course. Even with multiple surgeries and knee replacements he was traveling to the local retirement home and cracking up his friends. That's the kind of person he was.
Jim passed away this last August. When he died, an era ended, it's as simple as that. There will never be another like him. He was an unyielding spirit, the last of his kind - a true and great American. I was honored to know him, and I will never forget my friend.