Memorial tribute to Jim Filkins
The Jamestown Town Council has proclaimed Sunday, June 24, as James R. Filkins Day. The family has extended an open invitation to friends and admirers to attend a 2 p.m. memorial celebration at Fort Getty. We, who served with Jim as members of the Jamestown School Committee, would like to add our appreciation and respect for all that he gave to us.
Jim brought a wealth of experience and an invaluably broad perspective in dealing with educational issues, having been both an educator and a school committee chairman in Massachusetts. In Jamestown, he took on many roles as a member of our school committee, including clerk, SELAC liaison, Melrose SIT liaison, and co-chair of the health and wellness committee. He also served as cochair of the high school review committee and chaired the school committee's negotiating team for the JESPA contract.
Besides all those specific accomplishments, Jim was always a well-informed and effective presence in all of our discussions. He brought his reason and experience and deliberate style to bear on all the issues that arose, and contributed greatly to their resolutions. His sense of humor and calm demeanor were also much appreciated by all his colleagues.
Jim was active in the schools as well, sharing his love of art with students in the after-school program by giving drawing lessons. His cheerful presence was welcomed by everyone in the Jamestown school community, and he is missed.
We want to take this opportunity to recognize Jim's many accomplishments, and to thank him and his family for sharing his talents with us. We are so grateful that he was willing to do so much for so many. His determination to carry on with what was important to him in spite of his illness was a wonderful example of his spirit, and it was truly inspiring. We will use what he taught us, and will remember his good humor and zest for life even as we mourn his absence.
Julia Held, Cathy Kaiser