Wednesday, August 24, 2011

James Clayton Schooley

April 1934 – August 2011

Remembering the love of my life by Cecelia R. Schooley.

You are my sunshine. My only sunshine. My husband, Jim, had a magnificent sense of humor. Full of wit, he loved to tell poems, and sing to me, especially “You are my Sunshine”. He would always say “thanks for making supper” after dinner because he never took me for granted. And even if I thanked him for taking me out to lunch, he would reply with “thanks for thanking me”.

When Jim was eight or nine, while attending the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Philadelphia, he was sled riding in the winter when he hit a tree and broke his wrist. When his supervisor asked him why he hit the tree? Jim replied simply that the tree wouldn’t move! As a boy, he also loved comic books such as Captain Marvel and Superman. Disappointed that nothing happened if he went into the closet and screamed “Shazam!”, he tied a towel around his neck and tried to fly like Superman. Luckily, his sister Grace grabbed him before he could jump out of the window.
In 1967, Jim directed a play named “Variety Show” for the Clerc Literary Association at All Soul’s Church in Philadelphia. Although professionally, Jim was a printer, he also taught American Sign Language for many years. He was so proud that three of his students because Certified ASL Interpreters.

Our love story…

When I was ten, I had a crush on Jim because he always had junk in his pockets when the school supervisor made him empty them. But, even though he liked me, Jim said I was too tall for him. When we were in Wissinoming Hall for high school, I often hoped he would be my boyfriend but no. He went on to marry another girl, and I was heartsick.
Then in 1970, I went to the Center City for the Deaf and met many friends including Jim’s sister, Grace. She asked me to come to a party the next week. Jim said, “I hope you do come”. The party was on May 21st, it was a family party, but Jim’s wife and baby were not in attendance. I asked where they were, but Jim just walked away. Later, I found out that they were separated - so I apologized to him because I hadn’t known when I asked. He said it was okay, and we talked for hours and hours, then he asked me out.

I was so excited! From that day in May 1970, we stuck together. For 41 years, Jim was so good to me. And, my honor was making him happy.

Something that Jim and I always did throughout our time together was throw water on each other, of course, for fun. A favorite memory I have of my husband is when we had interpreters at our house. Jim walked into the kitchen, filled a glass of water, then came over and threw it at me. It was shocking for both myself and the interpreters but we all laughed. Another favorite is me, throwing ice cold water on him over the shower curtain, while he was taking a hot shower. He would scream in the corner while I ran for my life!

It is those memories, and more, that let me smile today when I think of the love of my life. Jim, you are my sunshine. My only sunshine.


DAWTER said...


Dad is surely being missed so much already. Was glad I was there with him during his final days. He was the greatest dad and the best buddy, I could have ever asked for in this life and wouldn't have traded that. He has always been there whenever needed and he has provided the support and understanding. He had a heart half the size of the earth and was always willing to share not only with me but with everyone else. He is a man of a thousand words and with a thousand of jokes he tells places smiles and laughers on the faces of those around him. He is sorely going to be missed by all and especially me. Dad is now onto the Journey of enternity love. He is now watching over you mom and singing "YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE" LOVE AND GOD BLESS

Emilia Lorenti Wann said...

CeCe, I love you and Jim so much. My heart is broken as I read this. Words can not express how sad I am for you and anyone who knows you and Jim. May he rest in peace.

Carol Willauer Yuknis said...

Jim will always be your "Sunshine" - sitting on your shoulder.
Be grateful for the wonderful memories you have had with him - like the above you shared with us.
Memories will bring us smiles - laughters -sadness and tears.
Right now - I am thinking of him - way up above - fingers/hands flying in the air - greeting - joking with the ones that departed before him - especially to see my dear Dad.
Along with the fond memories Alan and I have with him.
His wit - sense of humor - wisdom - and love of history.
His wit and sense of humor - left us with laughters.
His wisdom - showed me his true side of being fair.
His love of history - he was awesome - with a keen mind and vivid memory - of who did that or why.
Right now - he is at peace -
Greatly missed by us left behind -
Will never be forgotten for who he was....
God Bless
Carol and Alan

Paul R. Manieri said...

Aunt Cici,

What a beautiful tribute to Uncle JIM, a bright shining light, that is remembered exactly as written above. "a thousand jokes" is an excellent way to reflect upon his impact on smiles in all communities.

My prayer is that your heart smiles when you think of him and imagine the water being thrown at him, wherever he is. Your both light-hearted attitudes are what I will always embrace about your loving approach. I wish you could feel my hug to you at this difficult time.

Peace and Blessings,
Paul (& Angela Jo) Manieri

Anonymous said...


You are in my thought and prayer. Sunshine is eternity and treasure the memories -- May God be with you during the difficult time --

Peace and love,


Anonymous said...


We will miss Jim so much! He was an awesome guy with a great sense of humor!

We love you and hope to see you soon!

Jason, Lauren, Alyssa and Jordan

Anonymous said...


Angelo & I also my two sons, Mario & Lou will always cherish memories of Jim's full sense of humors - his sparking smile and his warm personality. It's Jim's true identify that we never forgot. . . Many good memories of Jim into our CLA (Clerc Literary Assn) involvement.. which had so much fun and gained our expressions among the deafies. . . Jim (NOT WAS) will always being loved into our hearts and not be forgotten..
Love you, always - Cici
Rachel, Angelo, Mario & Lou of Havertown, PA / Lake Worth, FL

Lawrence Leitson said...

Cici, my dear friend,

Heartfelt thoughts and prayers to you and your family. I am sure you have many more wonderful memories of your life together. Yes, memories flood the mind and the heart as a comforting sea of welcoming peace. He was extraordinary in his vitality and his joy of life. I rejoice and am thankful for being allowed to know him...and
you. Much love to you and his memory.

Peace and love,

Lisa Reese said...

Aunt Cici..
These were the most beautiful words I've ever read. I must have cried a bucket. I'm glad you got the man of your dreams and had a good 41 years with him. Just remember the good times and you'll get through all this. Love, Lisa and Arthur

Anonymous said...

This heart tugging tribute is truly very creative -- far, far better than ordinary obituary. Thank you so much. I keep thinking of you so often since I heard the shocking news. I pray for you as you are going thru this deep loss and very difficult time of grieving. All we have left now are rich memories of our husbands.
Yes, Jim was a very terrific guy. We all will miss him. Hugs and hugs, Pauline Johnston
May God is deepthe

Dana said...


I am deeply saddened by the loss of your Dear Jim.

Though I did not have to chance to meet him, I knew how much you loved each other and that you found your soulmate.

Please know you are in my prayers always.



Anonymous said...


Betty and I send you are deepest sympathy for the loss of your sunshine. The good Lord has called him home sooner than expected. We never know when the Lord will tap us on the shoulders and call us home.

Jim was the smoothest deaf man I ever met and had the opportunity to chat with. I have often thought of him from time to time even though we did not meet each other often. However, I do know that those beautiful thoughts will continue because such thoughts just never fade away.

Nelson C Boyer

Annie said...

Cici,my cousin,
Hold deep and heartfelt sympathy to you.. I am sure you treasure your memories and sunshine keep you going.
Hugs XO, Annie Lloyd

Anonymous said...

Dear Aunt CC,
I am truley saddened by the passing of uncle jim. He always made me laugh as a child, and as an adult. You and uncle jim were the perfect couple. Both of you were were always positive and happy! You both were a great role model for me growing up. Always had a smile and a joke or two! I hope i can offer you some words of encouragement...Always remember the many fun and happy years you had together. You and uncle jim have givin me the sense of humor i have today, and i thank you for that. Please stay strong and thank you for sharing your memories...I Love You. Phil McAlpin Sr.

Cousin Ann said...

I was shocked over Jim's sudden death and I realized Jim is gone home in Heaven. Your love story brought me the tears. I don't know how to express my feeling...I am grieved over my favorite cousin Jim. His sunshine is inside your heart forever until someday you will meet him.
Cici, I love you,
Cousin Ann

Shashelev said...

This is for my Dad

We shared a friendship, a good lot for fun , a relationship so good strong!
We'd never thought this day would come seeing you like this today.
Its so hard to accept the fact your gone forever.
Daddy ..........God took you away
He made me let you go .....

Now your gone
Your bodies ashes,
You watch us all
as our world sadly ....
We'll miss you....

But now your gone
Your ashes spread,
We'll meet again in the sky a lot more fun. We miss you a good fun
When we are dead.

You're, in a better place
Sitting, next to the lord
Where you once said,
You were ready to take your place
Next, to the lords in his heavenly grace.

Dad ,Thank you always you helped me through a lot for explanation , understanding and good advice
When times were dificulty , sad,
You got me through
When we got mood

Anyone who loved him
Will know how We feel today,
My Dad was the sunshine like
Who could light up the darkest days.

So goodbye Dad
Take your wings and fly
To eternal happiness and your reward,
through the big gates in the sky.

But, We know that you are with Jesus
And makes more peaceful.

We love you Dad, It was an honor to have you as my father.
We 'll see in heaven.
love Much

Sergey & Crissy Shashelev

Sonja from Germany said...

Hello,dear Cici

He was a sweet man and so many fun.I love him and
of course i will miss his,it is never stop to miss him all years.I am really very sorry for you but he stands beside you always and he let never go from you.He watchs of you anytime and care for you.He will give you thousand hearts from heaven and thinks you all minutes.He follow you where you are and you are never alone,he is living in heaven and watch of you all peace.He will always love you and it is never stop love you,because he lives still in heaven.God bless him.Pray,peaceful and nice memories.Love so much Sonja from Germany

Anonymous said...

Our sympathy for your loss of dear gentleman. You are in our prayer & thought.

Christina & Lee

Marla E. Gunning said...

Marla says...
"A Tribute To My Beloved Jim"

When I was young, Jim was here
He reached my hand in comfort and cheer,

I had no loneliness on pleasant days,
But filled with joys in useful ways...

I turned my comfort to hold him dear
He did not hestitate when I came near,

The light of the stars that shone at night
I remembered the day he held me so tight.

Those days I still remember....
His smile, I love him forever.

Love always, and God bless you, dear.

Marla E. Gunning

DAWTER said...

Not how did he die, but how did he live?
Not what he did gain but what did he give?

There are the units to measure the worth
of a man as a man, regarding birth.

Not what was his church, nor what was his ceed?
But had he befriended those really in need?

Was he ever read, with word of good cheer?

To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?

Not what did the sketch in the newspaper or tributre say,
But how many were sorry when he passed away.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Cici
I am really miss Jim so much and alway enjoyed chat with jim as sense humor. always do love u and jim too...hate to say symthany loss of your lovely husband Jim
God Bless
Betty Montrella

Anonymous said...

Dear Cici and family,

Our hearts go out to you with our deepest sympathy and you are in our prayers.

No bond is as good as that between Cici, Donna and others in his life - our condolences are with you as you grief. Nothing in life can possible prepare us for the loss of your beloved dear husband and father.

I had fond memories of Jim during my young years with Donna from our PSD School that where I met Cici & Jim.

Jim always made me smile - actually made me blush every time he visited PSD with Cici, he used to crack me up and tease me when I was cheerleading for boy's basketball games, that made me lose my concentrate with my cheerleading and laugh at same time. He even copy-cat my sign and speech while cheerleading. Once in a while I got in trouble with my cheerleader coach for not concentrate myself. He always had big smile on his face showing with his teeth from ear to ear that brighten my day.

The last time we all got together at friend's house with other friends, we all had so much fun and laughing so much, especially with his silly sense of humor that really crack us up and cause tears running down my cheeks and pant. He was the best medicine for all of us with his silly jokes and his expression faces. He was the best deaf comedy ever.

I will always cherish all those yesteryears. Jim was a wonderful man and the wonderful memories he had created during his years of life are like a treasure. Had he lived his life with the gifts he had with Cici & Donna and family. He had lived fullest of his life. My eyes fill with tears, tears are a way of lifetime filled with emptiness, kind of feeling emptiness without having him around to teasing. He was a gift that I will always cherish close to my heart. He'll be sorely missed.

He was called home to the Lord as his work here on Earth was done. God has taken him to Heaven above where all the other loves one awaiting to lead him along the way and rise him up with all the angels and show him the light that lead the way.

May God bless you & your family in this time of sorrow. may your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories & love of friends & family carry you through your grief.

"Good-Bye" my friend till we meet again.

Ruth (Martin) Chanitz & Jay Chanitz

Cece said...

Dad was such a great man. He was so good to me and always made me laugh. He was the one person in my life I could count on for laughter, jokes, and a fun time. I always saw him with others and everyone was always having such a good time, he was just that kind of man. He could bring happiness to any occasion and he will be truly missed by many. I am glad he suffers no more and is in heaven telling the big guy a joke or two! I hope he doesn't get in trouble for telling the big guy the dirty jokes, but then again we all know how dad was! Oh well, I think the big guy will laugh too! I love you and will miss you!

Anonymous said...

Dear Cici and family,
Please accept our heartfelt sympathy in your time of great sorrow. Jim will alway be in your heart thru spirit everyday everywhere to follow you.
We sent you our greatness love and hugs to give you strenght to bear your sorrow.
God Bless and love you,
Darlene and John Sadowy

Anonymous said...

Dear CiCi and family

our sympathy of your love loss and our prayer with you all , he is go Beautiful home in the heaven with jesus and remember that jim is not leave you to be lone and he still in your heart forever til you will see him again in beauitful heaven and together again , he is watching and smile and love you .
our prayer and God always be with you forever
God bless brother and sister Gregory and Jeanette Boice

MARK said...




jay reno said...

I really wish I had more time to spend with Jim. My wife and I have been praying for you, If there is ANYTHING that we can do for you please dont hesitate to call you have our ifno.

Anonymous said...

hi cici
I am so sorry to hear about jims passing, although i did not know him that well, the time i spent with him during the PSDRS times was a blesssing. His radiant smile and sense of humor was uplifting to me. He was a wonderful man and inspiration to all of us who met and knew him. Please accept my sympathies and know he is watching from above and his love will shine through you!!
hugs and prayers in your time of grief
Pauline Bittinger, PA

Anonymous said...

Dear Cici,
I wish I can have magic or better words to comfort you. I am truly very sorry about your sudden loss of your dearest and wonderful man,Jim. I will always cherish all good and fun memories with him and he always took time to listen or ready to make me laugh. His wit,jokes and sense of humor had brighted up my days often. He will be sorely missed and is watching above with my dad. My heart goes to you with my deepest sympathy,prayers and hugs in time of your grief and missing him. May good and precious memories of Jim comfort you. Ily jeannie fischer

Sergey & Cris said...

Never Ready to Say Goodbye

We're never ready to say goodbye
To someone we hold dear.
If it were up to us, dear Dad,
We'd always keep you here.
But God has reasons of His own
And plans we cannot know,
And these are always for our good,
Though it may seem not so.
Our arms are empty and our hearts
Are filled with tears and grief,
For we who loved each day with you,
Now find those days too brief.
Yet if we could only heaven see,
We'd know you're happy there,
And we would never call you back
When such great joy you share.
And so we'll trust you to God's great care
And know some day, once more,
We'll hold you to our hearts again
When we reach heaven's shore.

We love much
Sergey & Cristina Shashelev

Angela Roth/ASL Services, Inc. said...

MEMORIAL SERVICE- Cici- As you requested, ASL Services is very happy to host a memorial service for Jim this upcoming THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th from 5:00PM-7:00PM at our offices, ASL Services, Inc., 3700 Commerce Boulevard, 2nd floor, Kissimmee, FL 34741.

On a side note- During the many years you and Jim have been part of our ASLS family, we have enjoyed many happy memories with you both. Remember the ribbon cutting on Main Street with the mayor of Kissimmee? What a fun time. Jim was an amazing ASL Instructor and many of our students are very sad and miss him dearly. We love so many things about Jim and he has left us with happy memories.

Anonymous said...

Dear CiCi and family
WE are saddened to hear about James's death. James was a really wonderful friend of many. We really enjoyed chatting with him when we saw him at PSD Alumni's Day....Our sincere sympathy goes to you and your family.
May God Bless,
The Maio Family

Anonymous said...

Jim was a wonderful man full of laughers. He brought smiles to thousands of faces with his jokes.

Anonymous said...

Jim was the rock of them all. He was lucky to have a good life with his wife, Cecelia. Jim will be sorely miss by many who knew him and was a wonderful ASL teacher and mentor.
Love you

Anonymous said...

Jim, you are deeply missed by many students and we thank you for your time teaching us ASL, plus your patience and your sunny personality.
Love you so much and God Bless

Permanent Sunshine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What to write? What can be said that has not been said? Jim was not only a great friend, mentor and life coach but also a father to me. Approximately 12 years ago I decided to take a sign language class at an interpreting gency called ASL Services. I took this class with my Mom to help her cope with her hearing loss. When we walked into the class there was an older gentleman who pleasantly greeted my mother and me. He said and signed "Hello, my name is Jim and I will be your ASL teacher." I'm not sure if it was the kindness on his face or the gracefulness of his ASL, but at that moment I knew I had a friend for life. Jim was so encouraging and supportive and had an unsurpassed love for his language (ASL), teaching and for life itself. During the class, with a twinkle in his eye, he always mentioned his wife, Cecelia, whom he said was his better half. I remember sitting in class and hoping that I would have the opportunity to meet this wonderful woman that Jim spoke so highly about. Approximately six months later I was at the loval Target and saw Jim. He was with a beautiful woman and they were shopping for a cooler to take with them for their trp to Philadelphia. The woman was his wife: Cece. Much like my first encounter with Jim, I knew I had a dear friend for life the first time I met Cece. From that point on we were family.
Love you!
Kevin Harrington

Anonymous said...

During our time together Jim taught me so much about life, politics, history, ASL, and astrology. He had a strong fascination with the galaxy and how it was formed. Many evenings we would sit and talk about black holes, worm holes, and the physics associated with these phenomena. We would also discuss politics, economics nd life itself. Some of my favorite memories are of him telling jokes using his native language. What an amazing language and one you do not see frequently. The jokes: there was one about the vampite in the park; the UFO and the ears; the Hitler joke; the deaf telephone; and many more. We would sit for hours while he told jokes and talked about his childhood and his life experiences. We would laugh for hours on end. I always looked forward to spending time with him and Cece.
Jim was so positive, intelligent and funny. Life was truly his bowl of cherries and he enjoyed every moment. In adverse situations he was able to evaluate every perspective and give good advice on how to resolve the issue(s). His approach to life was always positive and was always even keeled.
In regards to his language he was ever sharing. His goal was to pass on this precious gift and culture to all who were eager to learn. He would answer every question no matter how stupid or insulting with enthusiasm and eagerness. He would teach the evolution of the language through example. He would choose a sign and show you how it looked years ago and then explain why it is signed this way today. He was not afraid to show his culture and would share it with pride. When I would ask him a question about the Deaf he would get a sparkle in his eyes, sit forward and then start. He was a true historian of American Sign Language and Deaf Culture. His passing is not only a true loss for those that use his language but also for the future ASL students that will never have the previlege to learn from one of the most inspiring mentors I have ever known.
Jim never knew this but I had a personal goal I wanted to reach before either of us passed. I wanted to communicate with Jim using his language and not some mish mush of ASL and English. For those who use sign language as your primary language or as a secondary language you are sure to understand my goal. Deafness has been passed through many generations in Jim's bloodline. He knows the language and the culture better than most; however, I still wanted to master the language enough to use true ASL to converse with him. I wanted to achieve this goal because I know it would make Jim, the man I looked up to as my own father, proud. Unfortunately, my goal was not realized. I will continue my growth with ASL and maybe in the near future I will be able to communicate with true ASL. When I finally do achieve this goal I will owe much of the credit to a man I met twelve years ago, who simply said "Hello, my name is Jim and I will be your ASL teacher', and changed my life forever.
Jim...your lofe for life and your infectious mannerism and laughter will be in my heart for life.....Love you!
Kevin Harrington

Ruth & Box said...

We really enjoy knowing Jim and enjoy having him here at our house. He looked so young and now we never dreamed that he would be gone. He is a wonderful man and not know how to say Sorry that he is gone. We enjoyed with him so much and thank him for being our friend and you too Cece. we are impressed that you and Jim always have bright sides that always pleasant.
Always love you and don't know how to say more than that but if you need anything, call me anytime.
RuthAnn & Bob Davis

Anonymous said...

As a former student of James Schooley, let me tell you this that he was a very magnificent teacher, person and more. He had so much patience in teaching ASL and never gave up on teaching. He often talked about his wife and says she is his better half. What a keen sense of humor he has and more. Deeply miss Jim but will never be forgotten.
Love you
Your former student

Anonymous said...

Was really shocked to hear about James C. Schooley and want to say he was a true gentleman with keen mannerisms. In the ASL Class, Jim always talked about his wife Cici and calls her his better half. Jim, I'm going to miss not seeing you around. Best teacher with sense of humor and patience.
I love you and will cherish the days I had in ur class.
Your former student in PA

Anonymous said...

Cici, We were so blessed to have spent Easter Sunday with both of you and Sergey. It is a day we will remember forever. We know it was 2 yrs ago, but we remember the kindness of Jim and you, to invite us to your home. Also, know that our hearts go out to you and your 'kids' as they miss him too. Love and Hugs to you, sorry this is so late, just found on internet this day. Kathy & Dave Newcomer

Anonymous said...

So sorry about your loss - James Schooley. He was an awesome guy with always pleasant attitude. Cici, you have made James very happy as he always called you his better half with a smile on his face. Recall all the fun days you have had with James in all those years. James you were well loved by many of your peers. James, you are sorely missed by all of us who knew you at PSD during the 50's. Love to Cici and her family from Paul

Anonymous said...

From Carol Trapani

Even though Jim is gone,
His memory still remains in our hearts.
His laughter and face will never fade.
We think of him as we go on @ day.
The good times we remember -
And the days spent together will be in our memories forever.
So when you start to feel down and you really want to cry
Just think of the fun times
And don't wonder why.
Just leave it at that
And know he's better now
He's in a better place.
So Jim, we love you and we miss you,
But we know you're much happier
So watch over us and make sure we're ok - especially Cici and your Family.
And we will see you again someday.

Written with Love from Carole Trapani

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