Jim was born on Veterans Day (nee Armistice Day) 1935 in the Western Springs suburb of Chicago. After graduating at age 17 from the public school system he entered Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) in 1953. After graduating from Miami in 1957 with a Bachelor's of Science in Business and three minors: geology, mathematics, and naval science, Jim was commissioned in the Marine Corps. Jim still regards this as one of the proudest moments in his life as you "don't receive a globe & anchor from Sears and Roebucks!"
Upon completion of his active duty requirement Jim joined Marine Air Group 46 at N.A.S. Grosse Ile in Detroit Michigan, amassing thousands of hours of time and garnering a few promotions along the way. During this time in the reserves Jim was also employed by the Fram Corporation, first as national accounts area manager, then as district manager, and later national sales manager of one of Fram's five divisions.
Resigning in 1970 Jim joined United Sheet Metal, a division of United McGill, which is now known as McGill Airflow. In addition to his responsibilities he was involved in product testing and new product development. Much of the data one finds today on round pipe and fittings performance including losses, gauges, and pressure limits were gathered during his tenure. A couple of side notes: the negative pressure collapse limits were established with the able help of a Nash Rambler (not his) vacuum system. Another time United Vaccum wanted to make and have U.L. Tested the largest fire damper ever labeled to date, a 6 feet x 6 feet model was settled on. 6 feet by 6 feet! Jim's suggestion that a fork lift be shipped with the damper to U.L. was rejected. Going along to witness the test with the engineering and production staff proved quite interesting. One of the first items on the agenda was the blade stack cycling requirement. Yes, a fork-lift was required and you can guess who had to rent and operate it. Jim not only experienced the joy of forklifting but was also privileged to experience the forklift tipping over with the fire damper on it!
Jim hosted, as well as presented, a great many engineering seminars over the next few years as well as being the key-not speaker on many occasions. This served him well in the future as many Tucsonan's will remember Jim's presentations and dress at the the Friday breakfast seminars and open houses at the old Air Specialty office on Friebus in the early 2000s.
The itch to have his own business finally bit and in 1977 Jim acquired a representative office of HVAC equipment in Spokane, Washington, which remained J. Ash and Associates for the next 23 years. In the ever changing climate of factories and their agents Jim was proud of the fact that was the only representative for all of his factories in Spokane. These included Joy Manufacturing, Farr Company, Carnes, Arrow-United, Desert Aire, Bry-Air, Industrial Acoustics, as well as McGill Airflow (nee United McGill).
After retiring in 2001, Jim and his wife JoAnne moved to Tucson to join Ron Compton's Air Specialty Products. Here he as become well known "as the crotechety old guy who looks like Mr. Clean" and highly respected by the professional engineering community. His direct eye contact, firm handshake, direct responses, and always extending a helping hand in the process was always welcome and will be missed.
Over the years Jim has been an active member of NHAW, ASHRAE, NOFI, and MCROA, as well as Rotary. He has been honored to have been selected/elected to serve on the Board of numerous corporations, both in the private and public sectors.
Jim and his wife JoAnne are parents of six: four daughters and two sons, and grandparents of five: four granddaughters and one grandson. They will retain their Tucson home while they travel extensively. In the meantime Jim is looking at sitting at the curb (pictured at left) parking cars for fun up at La Encantada. Just kidding. Really.