James L Stringfellow Obituary
James Livingston Stringfellow, 85, died Monday April 29, 2019 at the ET York Haven Hospice
Care Center in Gainesville. He leaves his wife of 64 years, Jennie Wallace Stringfellow; brother
Hart R. Stringfellow, Jr.; three sons, James L. Stringfellow Jr, (Marcus Barlow), Richard Hart
Stringfellow (Karla), Douglas Alexander Stringfellow (Robbie), daughter Martha Murphree Stringfellow York, (Guy) and seven grandchildren: Alex, Andrew, Hart, and Celeste Stringfellow, and James, William and Sarah York.
Born November 4, 1933, Jim was a lifelong resident of Gainesville and fourth generation descendent of one of Alachua County’s early pioneer families, that began with his great grandfather, Dr. William Hall Stringfellow, one of Gainesville’s first physicians and who was the first speaker at the 1852 meeting that saw a vote to locate the county seat to Gainesville.
Jim was a leader from an early age. He attended P.K. Young which in 2006 honored him as a Distinguished Graduate. He continued his education at the University of Florida where he played the violin in the UF Symphony, was on the UF Tennis team and served two years ROTC graduating in 1955 with a B.S. in marketing.
He went on to serve four years as a navigator in the U.S. Air Force retiring in 1959 with the rank of Captain.
Jim returned to Gainesville and became partner in Stringfellow Supply Company, a building materials business started by his grandfather. During this career he served as president of the National Building Material Distributors Association.
While running a successful business, Jim made time for his passions: helping children, improving health care and enhancing the Gainesville area’s quality of life.
His early community service included chairing the Gainesville Airport Advisory board 12 times, leading the team that built the first control tower, hired the first airport manager, developed the first airport master plan and obtained the first FAA grant to enable the main runway to accommodate heavy jets for commercial flights.
Jim was always keenly interested in the financial operations of our local governments. In the 60’s and 70’s he was president of the Alachua County Taxpayers Association, a watchdog group that monitored city and county finances. He served on the MPTO Citizens’ Advisory board, the Healthy Community Initiatives study group on government finances, and the Alachua County Blue Ribbon Committee on Finances.
Other city boards on which he has served include the City Beautification Board, the Downtown Redevelopment Advisory Board, and was president of the city’s Evergreen Cemetery Association.
In 1974 Jim was on the chamber of Commerce board that established the Leadership Gainesville Program. He was elected Chamber president in 1975.
He spent decades in community healthcare governance, serving as chair of Alachua General Hospital Board, founding chairman of Vista Upreach Rehab Hospital, and North Florida Home care.
In 1978 Jim began a tour of volunteer service to the newly formed Santa Fe Healthcare, a not-for-profit integrated healthcare company, as well as serving on the board of directors of AVMED Health Plan.
In 1985, Jim served as the founding chairman of the board for Hospice of North Central Florida, a then fledging attempt to start a service to provide medical, physical, emotional and spiritual care to the terminally ill in this area. Thanks to his initiative and involvement, Haven Hospice thrives and serves thousands of families.
Jim was named Rotary’s Volunteer Center “Health Volunteer of the Year” in 1988.
Jim was a modest man and not one to talk much about his community service, other than to say that he always wanted to help meet community needs.
In his roles as advocate for early childhood intervention, Jim served on the Healthy Family
Advisory Board, the Alachua County Children’s Alliance, and the United Way of North Central
Florida where he spearheaded the “Success by 6” Program. Additionally, he helped create Alachua County’s flu-mist program which provides free flu-mist immunizations to Alachua county students.
Jim was a long-time supporter of the Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County, an agency that funds child care for working parents.
Perhaps the service accomplishment he was most proud of was his involvement in Partnership for Strong Families, started in 2003 as part of the state’s privatization of foster care, adoptions and related services, and he served as board Chairman which involved frequent visits to Tallahassee to advocate funding for quality child welfare services. In 2011 he was named “Child Advocate of the Year” by the Florida Coalition for Children.
In 2014 Business Gainesville Magazine recognized him with their Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jim was an avid gardner and a passionate athlete. He played handball, tennis, golf, and ran both the New York and Boston marathons. He loved to fish and spent many weekends on his beloved “Jennybelle” with his children. He was a private pilot and built his own aircraft.
Jim was a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity and a 60-year Member of the Kiwanis Club. A man of faith, Jim was lifelong member of Holy Trinity Episcopal church, where he has served as vestryman, church school teacher, Junior Warden, member of Diocesan Foundation Board, and Diocesan Finance Committee. In 1991 when the church was destroyed by fire, Jim chaired the church reconstruction committee.
For all his leadership and accomplishments, Jim was a sweet man known to his family as Pappa, who gave unconditional love to his children, grandchildren, and the children of the entire community.
Funeral Service will be held at 10:00 AM Saturday May 4, 2019 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 100 N.E. 1st Street, Gainesville, FL 32601. The family invites friends to join them after the service in the Parrish Hall, followed by interment in Evergreen Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Partnership for Strong Families 5950 NW 1st Place Suite A Gainesville, FL 32607 online at www.pfsf.org OR Haven Hospice 4200 NW 90th Blvd Gainesville, FL 32606, online at www.beyourhaven.org. Arrangements are in the care of MILAM FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES 311 S. Main Street Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 376-5361 www.milamfh.com