WEEMS—Walter Jay Tims died May 12, 2021, from complications of a stroke. He had lived in Weems nearly 20 years. He was 78.
Jay was born November 7, 1942, in Youngstown, Ohio, to Dr. Walter J. and Ellen Wilcox Tims. President of Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, he earned the J.D. degree at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, served in the U.S. Army from 1968-1970, and was admitted to the Bar in Ohio and Florida.
Through a serendipitous phone call during his last semester at W&L, he met Jane Neblett, a senior at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg. A year later, she asked him to marry her. They were wed on a sultry summer night at First United Methodist Church in Tampa, Fla., and would have celebrated 52 years this July 12.
Jay became a partner in the Youngstown law firm of Harrington, Huxley & Smith. He retired from the practice of law in 2000, and he and Jane moved to the Northern Neck. They thought they were moving to water, but on the trip from Youngstown they saw only fields. Little did Jay know how much he would grow to love the rhythm of the crops. He often stopped to watch the farmer sow.
Indeed, there was water. Jay learned to drive a boat, grow oysters, catch crabs—all new for a city boy. He’d learned knots early on; he was an Eagle Scout. He learned that he could not stop a white oak from hitting his house. Through storms, he learned the generosity of neighbors. He was still thinking about a generator.
This spring, he had seen the laurel pop. He awaited return of the hummingbirds and this week missed the pileated woodpecker, a family of geese leaving the marsh, a bluebird storming the pansies, and a doe in the front yard.
Ordained as an elder and deacon in Ohio, Jay served on Session and the Agape Fund at Campbell Memorial Presbyterian Church. His focus was food mission, including the Thanksgiving community meal, Meals on Wheels leadership, and his trademark deviled eggs at coffee hour.
Jay tutored third graders in reading at Lancaster Primary School. On the late-night trip home from a Washington, D.C., excursion, one student said, “Look! Mr. Tims is asleep.”
He enjoyed his work on the corporate and foundation boards of Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury and kept his eye on the new construction. He served on the board of Indian Creek Yacht & Country Club.
Jay was a man of simple pleasures. His W&L bucket hat, third in a series, was his favorite possession. He kept a copy of the U.S. Constitution on the table beside his red chair. He had the only Ohio State license plate holders in the county. Like his humor, his martinis were dry.
He stuck with what worked: apple cider, turkey on the grill, eggnog, the Christmas card picture, Maine lobster, Brittanys, and the beach. His guidelines: do the research, change the oil, put things back, think before speaking, be who you are. He was who he was.
At the pinnacle of Jay’s many blessings stood the family he adored: daughter, Cameron Tims Casey, her husband, Michael J. Casey, and their sons, Gabriel Lewis and Leo Graham Casey, of West Roxbury, Mass.; son, Preston B. Tims, his wife, Sarah Curtin Tims, and their sons, Walter Corwin, Owen Grant, Clayton James, Dean Joseph and Alexander Kelly Tims, of Hinsdale, Ill.; his sister, Joan Tims Wilson, and her husband, Kenneth J. Wilson, of Wallace, N.C.; and Jane.
He will be buried in Ohio’s North Jackson Cemetery near his parents and grandparents, with a subsequent service to be scheduled at Campbell Memorial Presbyterian Church.
Arrangements are being handled by Lane Family Funeral Homes Anstrom Chapel in Boardman, Ohio.
Jay’s family requests that contributions in his memory be made to The Kilmarnock-Lancaster Rescue Squad, 61 Harris Road, Kilmarnock, VA 22482; or Animal Welfare League of the Northern Neck, 75 North Main Street, Kilmarnock, VA 22482.