JAMES ARTHUR SHEARERJames Arthur Shearer, long time Duluth resident and civic leader passed away peacefully in his home on Aug. 27, 2012.
James Arthur Shearer, long time Duluth resident and civic leader passed away peacefully in his home on Aug. 27, 2012.
Jim was born on June 3, 1946 in Mankato, Minn., to parents Walter and Shirley (Miller) Shearer, both of whom are deceased.
Jim graduated in 1964 from John Marshall High School in Minneapolis and moved to Duluth to attend UMD where he graduated in 1969 with a degree in Business Administration. Jim began working at UMD as a student and it became his career from 1969 until his retirement as Associate Director of Facilities Management in 2007, serving twice as Acting Director of Facilities Management.
Jim was the inspirational leader for the remarkable accessibility improvements on the UMD Campus during his tenure, as well as for facilities and buildings around Duluth and at the state level. Jim was a tireless advocate for making public facilities accessible to all by installing ramps, curb cuts, elevators, and by showing sensitivity to people’s needs. Jim knew how even small physical barriers could make buildings and facilities inaccessible.
Jim was a polio survivor from his elementary school days and during his entire life he showed others how a person in a wheelchair could live life to the fullest – driving, owing a boat and fishing, traveling, and enjoying a quality life. Jim built his dream home on the east hillside in 1999 and has lived there since it was constructed.
As a civic leader, Jim was elected to the Duluth City Council in 1979 and served from 1980 until 1992, twice as Council President. Jim served on numerous boards, commissions, committees, and task forces throughout his career. Among his favorites were his tenure on the DECC Board from 1990 until 1996 – serving as President for two years and his two terms as Chair of the Duluth Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Duluth). Jim is a past member of the Kitchi Gammi Club and former Chair of the Minnesota Council on Disabilities.
Jim loved UMD Hockey, fishing, his former cabin on White Lake, gourmet dining, and cultural and entertainment events.
He is survived by his partner, Darren Mitchem of Duluth; his sisters, Barbara (John) Westman of Mankato Minn., and LeAnne (Fred) Erker of Olathe Kan.; and his nephews, Daniel, Robert, and William Erker.
CELEBRATION OF LIFE: 4-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (Harborside Convention Center) beginning with an opportunity to meet Jim’s family and partner. A life celebration will occur from 4:30 to 5:30, with a social hour to follow. Memorials are preferred to the Eric K. Clarke Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund at UMD Development Office, 1049 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812.
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