TELFORD, Pa. — James Orville Chaffee, 90, of Telford passed away peacefully Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, at Abington-Lansdale Hospital. Born in Lucas Township, Wis. to Orville and Annie Chaffee, he lived his growing years in Wisconsin, moving after college to the Michigan UP. He then spent 13 years in Minnesota and the past 47 years in Pennsylvania.
James was a man with many interests and a keen mind. He grew up in dairy farm country and worked as a farmhand in his youth. James was a veteran, having served in Germany at the end of World War II. He was a communications and Morse code specialist in the Army Air Corps, which later became the Air Force. After serving in the military, James took advantage of the GI bill and enrolled in college. After graduating from Wisconsin State Teacher’s College in River Falls, Wis. with a degree in Horticulture and a Teaching Certification, he spent the next four years as a school teacher in Tapiola, Mich. In 1957 he left the teaching profession to launch a new career in a fledgling computer business, called Remington Rand Univac, now known as Unisys. He went on to spend 31 years with Unisys, traveling the world as dept. manager and later becoming a top executive with the firm. Jim was an avid golfer who won many amateur tournaments. He had never picked up a club until serving in Germany, within two years he was a scratch golfer. He was one of a rare few to shoot a score lower than his age in his 70’s. He golfed around the globe, including The Old Course at St. Andrews. He loved bowling, even competing on “Bowling for Dollars” a Minnesota TV show. He loved hunting and fishing, especially in the Northern Minnesota lakes. He was an expert canoeing portager in the Minnesota/Canadian boundary waters. He loved gardening, grafting apples and keeping a beautiful lawn. In his retirement years he became very proficient investing and trading online into his late 80’s. He enjoyed traveling with his wife Joyce to see family scattered around the country. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren. James was a faithful member of his church, having served as church president and treasurer.
Jim was a caring husband and proud father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He is survived by his wife, Joyce Oas Chaffee’ his six children, Barry Chaffee and his wife, Dianne of Schwenksville, Pa., Gregory Chaffee and his wife, Jacqueline of Doylestown, Pa., Daniel Chaffee of Lansdale, Pa., Rebecca Chaffee McKenna of Lansdale, Pa., Jeffrey Chaffee and his wife, Donna of Lansdale, and Sarah Homan and her husband, Dwight of North Wales Pa. He is also survived by his brothers, Jack of Fort Collins, Colo., Bill of Eckert, Colo. and David of Menomonie. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, four stepgrandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 6, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 211 S. Main St., North Wales, Pa. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to time of service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the St. Peter’s Memorial fund.