Patrick Haaland James, 74, died peacefully at home in Highland Beach, Fla. on May 18, 2014. He leaves his wife of 52 years, Barbara “Blanid” Butler James; his three children, Valerie James Abbott, Wendy James Urquhart, Christopher Patrick James all of Richmond, Virginia; their spouses Christopher S. Abbott, Gregory Edward Urquhart, Elizabeth Blake James; his treasured granddaughters, Mary Clare Abbott, Sadie James Urquhart, Bridget Curry Abbott and Lucie Lake Urquhart; and his two sisters, Ruth James Johns of Olachua, Florida and Sigrid Valerie Henrichson of Weston, Connecticut.
Patrick was born in the Bronx in 1940 and was raised in Garden City from the age of five. He graduated from Garden City High School and Adelphi University and raised his own family in Garden City as well. He met his wife, Barbara, on a blind date in 1958 at the home of a childhood friend. When that very home went on the market after their first child was born, they bought it and lived there for over 30 years.
Patrick owned Garden City Galleries, LTD on Franklin Avenue in Garden City for more than 30 years. He was a lifelong collector of art, coins and stamps. In the early 1960s, he served as president of the Long Island Coin Club, the youngest person ever to serve in that role.
In 2001, Patrick and Barbara retired to Highland Beach, Fla. He developed a love of swimming, logging 70 laps a day for many years. His evenings were spent enjoying his incredible view of the Atlantic Ocean. His children and grandchildren were frequent visitors to Highland Beach and he loved nothing more than to swim with them in his pool. In his final days, Patrick was blessed to enjoy a few final swims with his entire family. He died peacefully with his wife and children at his side.
A memorial service will be held at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Va. on Saturday, May 31 at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hospice of Palm Beach County Foundation or your local hospice organization.