James William Aldrich, 80, of Akron, OH, passed away on January 8, 2021, surrounded by his wife Irene (Mellion) and his two sons, Daniel and Theodore. He was preceded in death by his father George and mother Bernadine, and his brother Thomas.
James was born in 1940 in Akron, OH. He graduated from St. Vincent High School, and then attended Kent State University where he earned his undergraduate degree. He then obtained his MBA from the University of Akron. He began his professional career at Firestone Tire, and then worked at IBM as a salesman. He then began his 47 year career in banking at National City Bank in 1971. In 1985, James and his family moved to Chicago, IL, where he became the CEO of Northwest National Bank, and then the CEO of Lakeshore National Bank. Finally, in 1996, he became the founder and CEO of Delaware Place Bank, which he ran with his son Theodore, until the bank was sold and he retired in 2018.
James was also an active leader in the community, serving on various Board of Directors, including DePaul University School of Business, Better Business Bureau Chicago, Holy Name Cathedral Chicago, and was very active with Catholic Charities and the Saint Vincent DePaul Society. James was the recipient of numerous awards including the Illinois Banker of the Year in 2010, and the Torch Bearer Award of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago in 2001.
James was very passionate about his family and was married for 59 years to his beloved wife Irene. They met as classmates in kindergarten, dated throughout high school, and were married as Kent State University students in 1961. James and Irene were avid travelers and together they saw much of the globe. They grew up in Akron together and they moved to Chicago in 1985 and spent 33 years there. They then returned to Akron in 2018 after James retired. James and Irene, his best friend and love of his life, were very committed to each other and their children, as well as their extended families, their church, and their community.
James many other interests included golf, cheering on his beloved Cleveland Browns, participating in charitable causes, and of course traveling with his lifelong partner Irene.
He was known for his warmth, his graciousness, loyalty and integrity. He served as a tremendous example to his children, and he loved spending time with them and his granddaughter.
He is survived by his wife Irene, his children Daniel and Theodore, his granddaughter Allison, his brother Michael and his sister Patricia, along with multiple nieces, nephews, friends and relatives.
The family will receive friends Wednesday 3-6pm at Hummel Funeral Home, 500 E. Exchange St., Akron. Private Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday at St. Hilary Catholic Church, 2750 West Market St., Fairlawn. The Mass will be live streamed on Thursday at 11:00am at sthilarychurch.org/live. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Saint Vincent DePaul Society.
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