James “Jimmy” Isom, 73 years old, passed away on Monday, December 16, 2019, surrounded by loved ones.
Jimmy was born in Providence on March 5, 1946 and was the son of the late May Catherine Isom. He is survived by many cousins and many extended family members, particularly the staff of the Fogarty Center, Advocates in Action of Rhode Island, as well as, Paul and Maureen Brousseau. He was also befriended by the Providence Police and Fire Departments. All of whom supported Jimmy in any way possible.
Jimmy had a remarkable, but challenging life. He spent twenty-two years of his childhood and early adulthood at the Dr. Joseph Ladd School in Exeter, Rhode Island.
Jimmy enjoyed participating in many organizations and programs. He especially enjoyed the Adult Literacy classes at Providence College, Best Buddies, Sal Mancini Senior Center, Narragansett Bay Baptist Church, Lamplighters Self-Advocacy Group and Advocates in Action of Rhode Island.
He also enjoyed playing pool, bowling, art projects, attending oldies concerts, sailing in Newport each summer, traveling and would never miss a party or event that he was invited to. He would welcome the opportunity to share his love of music, song and dance with others. He brought love, life and laughter to all.
One of his proudest moments was when Jimmy’s talents and life at the Dr. Joseph Ladd School were to be part of a documentary with other residents of the facility. Through the Advocates in Action Rhode Island, Jimmy had the opportunity to not only sing, but to speak passionately about his feelings of being a resident of the Dr. Joseph Ladd School. The documentary is called; “Best Judgement; Ladd School Lessons.”
Jimmy worked at Murphy’s Deli, Stop & Shop, Higgins Florist, Cranston Center and Price Rite. In addition, he welcomed the opportunity to be a Salvation Army Bell Ringer to help those in need.
Although Jimmy battled many physical and health challenges over his lifetime, he always had a smile on his face and a positive attitude. When he was asked how he was feeling the usual response would be: “Taking it one day at a time and there is always someone else not doing as good as me.”
His joy of independency and living in his own beautiful apartment was shaped not only by his institutional experience but the worldly life he lived. His love of life, music, good food, and people were unsurpassed. He was a gift to all he met and could make the saddest of people laugh and smile. No one will ever forget Jimmy’s wit, charm and underlying love for all those he held dearly.
A celebration of Jimmy’s life will be held on January 18, 2020 at the Narragansett Bay Baptist Church, 1642 West Shore Road, Warwick, RI 02889 at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Fogarty Center, “Jimmy Isom Memorial Fund”, 220 Woonasquatucket Avenue, North Providence, RI 02911.
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