James Shafovaloff, 71

Oct. 15, 1952 -
Feb 17,  2024
CRESCO (formally of) -   
James Walter Shafovaloff, affectionately known as Jim, passed away in peace on February 17, 2024, at home, surrounded by family, in Stafford, Virginia.  He was born to Walter and Reva Shafovaloff on October 15,1952, in Englewood, New Jersey. 
Jim was a graduate of Escambia High School, Pensacola, Florida, class of 1970, and went on to graduate from the United States Coast Guard Academy.  His career as a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) officer, achieving the rank of Commander, exemplified his spirt of love of country and service to the safety and common good of all.  With a stellar USCG career, Masters in Business Administration and Program Manager Professional certification, Jim retired from the USCG and went on to serve as  a private sector Information Technology business executive.  Early in his Coast Guard career, in April 1984, Jim married the love of his life, Ruth DeAmico, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, both always cherishing the romantic songs of that time and living day-to-day in total devotion and affection to each other.   In addition to his two loved sons, Jason and David, by a prior marriage, together Jim and Ruth lovingly raised four children, Sam, Ali, Erica and Jack.  Jim was a natural leader, with humble servant- leader charisma, that started as president of student council at Pensacola’s Brownsville Junior High in the 1960’s and permeated his college, career and family influence throughout his entire life, even encouraging others around him as he battled an aggressive cancer.  Jim cared.  Jim exuded care always, respecting everyone brought into his circle of life, encouraging optimism, gently providing wisdom and always building up the dignity of others. 
Jim’s siblings, Thomas Shafovaloff, Garry Shafovaloff (Rachael), Tanya Shafovaloff and Tamara Mares (Hector), remember Jim as taking his “oldest sibling” role to heart – Jim shepherded each with his wings of protection and guiding wisdom.  In character, even as he battled cancer, he would encourage all his loved ones, telling them to keep the “happy dial” turned up.  His son’s love for his mother Reva Burr Shafovaloff was lifelong and heartwarming.  She held his hand at the earliest age as he toddled on the beach and he returned the son’s love throughout his life, even to his end, reaching out to hold her hand as she approaches being a centenarian.    
Jim’s servant leadership and kindness reputation was exemplary and will be lasting across family, friends and those he met, even if it was one time.   From Coast Guard members who said, “Jim is that guy who I would always want to be in the foxhole with me” … to deep father-child talks, playing chess online with his loved children, to making sure he conveyed thankfulness to a waitress or waiter by their first name - Jim was caring and authentic.  
Jim loved music and knew, at heart, the beauty, wonder and joy it brings to others.  His touch of the piano keys was magical.  He made so many Christmas Eve’s joyful and so many little ones danced over the years to Alley Cat and adults felt the romantic deepness of Dark Eyes.  Jim loved driving…getting out and just driving…and getting his soul reset to the peaceful piano of the Vince Guaraldi Trio CD. 
Predeceased by his father, Walter, Jim leaves a legacy of example - devoted love, deep belly laughter, and the spirit of always caring for others. He is survived by his best friend and wife Ruth; his children, David (Amy), Jason, Sam (Brooke), Ali (Matt), Erica and Jack (Lacey); and his cherished grandchildren, Paige, Kate Madison, Katie, Eli, Seija, and Sybil.
Services to honor Jim's life will be held on March 28, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. at the pavilion of the Quantico National Cemetery.  Flowers may be sent for the service to Mary’s Flower Shop, Triangle, Virginia, https://www.marysflowershoppe.com/.  Donations may be made to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association Fund, annotating the donation for the Rowing and Chorus clubs (Jim’s passions in addition to golf at A.C. Read Pensacola NAS!).   Condolences and memories may be left online in care of the Mullins and Thompson Funeral Home at https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/stafford-va/james-shafovaloff....

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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