James Ferris Shaheen, Jr, passed away on January 12, 2021 at the age of 75. He peacefully went to fulfill his duties by God’s side, surrounded by his wife and three sons.
James was born on January 15, 1945 in Canton, Ohio, where he lived his whole life. He attended McKinley High School and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Mount Union College. He started his career working for the Ohio Department of Health where he had a long and fulfilling career.
He met the love of his life, Hilaneh (Abou-Zakhim), in church. They married on October 20, 1979 and have been inseparable ever since.
James is preceded in death by his father James Ferris Shaheen, Sr. and his mother Audrey (George). He is survived by his loving wife Hilaneh, devoted sons James, Michael (Ashley), and Christopher, and his best friends in the world, grandchildren Denise and Drew. He is also survived by sister Kathryn Shaheen and brother Kaleel (Rhonia) Shaheen, along with numerous nieces and nephews around the world.
James lived his life as an inspiration to everyone who was lucky enough to know him through his unwavering commitment to love, family, faith, and fun. Above all else, he loved his family unconditionally and made sure to let them know every single day.
James and Hilaneh raised their children with faith and church always being part of their lives. James was the choir director at church and loved having his family there helping sing, especially when his grandson would stand by his side and help direct.
James is perhaps best remembered by his loving playfulness, no matter the situation. He always found a way to make people laugh and smile. Anyone who knew him quickly learned to be just a little on guard for the next prank, as he was known for treating every day like it was April Fool’s Day. His ability to make people smile is a big part of the reason he was so loved and will be remembered by everyone whose life he touched.
His sons could not have asked for a better provider, protector, adviser, role model and superhero.
Family and friends will be received on Tuesday from 10 to 11 am at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church with services to follow at 11, Very Rev. Fr. Michael Corbin officiating. Interment will be in Northlawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his name to the Saint George Antiochian Church Choir Fund.
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