James (Jim) Lee Bartoletta sadly passed away November 27, 2017 after suffering with Pulmonary Disease in recent years and will be missed by all. He was born on March 28, 1935 in Bretz, West Virginia, to Esther Huffman Bartoletta and John Bartoletta.
He attended and graduated from Masontown High School in 1953. There he excelled in Football, Basketball and Baseball earning numerous athletic accolades. He met Zita (his wife of almost 60 years) during that summer when she was babysitting for her brother’s children at Coach Clare’s Teenager Hangout in his hometown. Jim enlisted in the The United States Air Force in 1955 and proudly served with Strategic Air Command as a Staff Sergeant, specializing in Electronics at Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
On April 19, 1958 he and Zita were married in Morgantown, West Virginia. In 1958 they lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire at Pease Air Force Base while completing his active duty and then served two years in the Air Force Reserve. He then became employed with Diebold in Dearborn Heights, Michigan where they built their first home.
Jim and Zita had started their family and had two sons (Mike in 1959 and John in 1963). Jim was transferred with his company to Charleston in 1964; although they felt raising a family would be better elsewhere and landed in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1965. Their youngest child, a daughter (Lisa Marie) was born in 1970 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In Grand Rapids Jim and Zita raised their family, and both had enjoyable careers – she worked for Grand Rapids Label and he was V.P. of Property Management at Union Bank, and later retired from JP Morgan Chase. The family were parishners at St Alfonsus and their children all attended local Catholic schools. Jim was very involved with Little League and participated in coaching his sons’ athletic teams. They invested in real estate including a small 10 acre farm in Grand Rapids where they hobby farmed. Jim loved to be tinkering on his properties, riding tractors, building barns and restoring old buildings. They then purchased a 23 acre farm on Buttrick where he fully restored the large Hay Barn on site. He meticulously maintained their properties and his farm equipment, as it was a passion of his.
Jim and Zita purchased two lakefront Cottages just north of Grand Rapids in 1983. They spent endless weekends and summers on the property, growing and expanding the little cottages to a peaceful, tranquil and much desired retreat. In fact they were able to visit and enjoy the cottages this past summer which meant the world to both of them. In 1994 Jim and Zita retired to Tampa, FL from Grand Rapids, Michigan to be closer to their three children who were living in Florida.
Bringing their antiques and prized possessions, they built a beautiful new home in Tampa Palms in 1995 and then moved to Cape Haze, near Englewood Florida to a waterfront home in 2002. Jim and Zita both had a passion for the water, fishing and oystering! He truly enjoyed his boat and also the putzing around the property fixing everything and anything!
Jim is survived by his wife, Zita F. Zaccagnini Bartoletta; three children, Mike (wife Darlene), John and Lisa (husband Andrew); five grandchildren, Johnny (24), Dannii (23), Michael (22), Lauren (22) and Andolina (8); and siblings, Gene (deceased) and his wife Sue of Pittsburgh, PA, Jack and his wife Sonya of Dawsonville, GA, Jerry and his wife Yvonne (deceased) of Manchester, England and Helen Jo and her husband Joe of Reedsville, WVA.. Jim also had many loving family members with numerous nieces and nephews as well.
Memorial service was held on Monday, December 11, 2017 at Blount & Curry Funeral Home Carrollwood Chapel, 3207 W Bearss Ave, Tampa, FL 33618.Go to Blount & Curry Website