James B. Calfee Jr.

Published 10:28 pm Monday, December 12, 2016

James “Jim” B. Calfee Jr., of Hilton Head, S.C., passed away peacefully, surrounded by the love and affection of his family, Dec. 4, 2016, at St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital in Savannah, Ga.



Born in Bluefield, W.Va., he was the son of Ruth (Haldren) and James (Bud) Calfee. Jim joined the Air Force in 1961. He was a writer for the Dayton, Ohio-based newspaper and received a national writing award, The George Washington Medal, on the importance of voting. Jim started his career at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph as an obituary writer in 1965. He was promoted to an investigative reporter and was instrumental in helping start a facility for youth offenders in order to keep them from serving time in prison with adults. He also implemented a statewide emergency medical service for the state of West Virginia. Jim was always seeking a way to improve the communities in which he lived. Through the years, Jim worked as a writer and editor for the Suffolk News-Herald in Suffolk, Anderson Independent Mail in Anderson, S.C., Hilton Head Sun, and Savannah Morning News. Jim retired in 2000 and began working for Johnson’s Florist on Hilton Head Island. His love for taking care of plants, delivering flowers and putting a smile on people’s faces became his favorite job. Jim never met a stranger and always reached out to others when they needed help. His front door was always open to anyone who wanted to talk; there was comfort in being with Jim, and he had the ability to put people at ease. Jim had a passion for politics and had a huge collection of political buttons, pictures and memorabilia dating back to the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. Jim and wife, Anita just recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Jim once wrote, “Love is tested by time, nurtured by life and relished by those who truly embrace it.” He was a wonderful father and challenged his children to do their best and instilled a sense of confidence that would remain with them throughout life.

A memorial service will be held Friday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. at Sea Island Chapel in Hilton Head, S.C. The family will receive friends from 2 to 3 p.m., and a reception will follow after the service.

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Jim is survived by his wife, Anita Byrd Calfee; his daughter, Jami and son-in-law, Jeff Cruikshank, grandchildren, Will and Kelli, of Raleigh, N.C.; and his daughter, Jodi and son-in-law, Jason Watts, granddaughters, Bayleigh and Olivia (Livi), of Bluffton, S.C. Extended family includes nieces, Lisa Rowe, Karen Davis; nephew, Kevin Stewart, of Virginia, and nephew, Jimmy Stewart, of Florida.

The family extends its heartfelt gratitude to the excellent staff at St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital for their care and support the last few days of Jim’s life. His choice of charity is Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse.

The Island Funeral Home and Crematory. theislandfuneralhome.com.