James Michael Fann passed away in his sleep on Thursday morning, June 3, 2021, after a long illness, with his beloved wife, Janey Lee Barrett Willis, and stepdaughter, Jennifer Leigh Hughes Foye, at his bedside.
Jim was born in Rockville, MD April 10, 1955, to George Millard Fann and Violet Marie Mailhot Fann. Jim grew up in Takoma Park, graduating from Bladensburg High School in 1973. After going to Montgomery College, and working in the area for several years, his older sister, Joan Marie Fann Grimes, invited him to visit her family in Visalia, CA.
Moving east again, around 1977 or so, he lived in Silver Springs, MD, then moved up to Utica, then Gouvenrneur and Syracuse, NY, working as a school bus driver, and a tour bus driver before settling in the DC area around 1980, working as a chauffeur for R.J. Reynolds for 20 years.
In late August of 2001, Jim and Joan both moved to Virginia Beach where he drove for a taxi service. In 2005, Jim started a new career as a self-employed Graphic Artist. He retired in the Spring of 2020 when his disease became too debilitating for him to continue working.
A “confirmed bachelor” as he moved into his 60’s, Jim met Janey via her sister, Linda Ann Barrett Carter. At the time, he was “moonlighting” as a driver for Linda’s apartment building. Linda invited Jim to a couple of family get-togethers and, whether he liked it or not, they adopted him! (He loved it!) Linda eventually moved away, but Jim and Janey found they had much in common! Both living alone and getting older, they decided to move in together. They bought a house in 2018, and finally married in 2019.
Jim had a passion for photography and had several of his pictures framed in their home. Whenever he came to family gatherings he would always bring his camera. Jim also loved watching TV (Big Bang Theory was a favorite!) and old movies. He enjoyed watching the squirrels and birds come to their backyard to feast on the peanuts and sunflower seeds he threw out to them while sitting on the back deck.
Jim was predeceased by his parents, Violet M. Fann in 1967, and George M.Fann in 1981. He also suffered the loss of an older sister, Linda Margaret Fann (B. 2/22/51, D. 1971), a younger brother, Richard Mark Fann (B. 2/26//59, D. 1966) and his only nephew, Daniel, in January of 2021. Losing so many family members so young was hard on Jim. He is survived by his sister, Joan Grimes, his wife, Janey Willis, his step-children, Jennifer Foye, Jeffery Hughes and Pamela Manuel and their families.
Jim will be remembered for his wit, his often macabre sense of humor, and his giddy playfulness when Jen’s children, Shelby, Kayleigh and Tyrion were near. They loved their silly “Uncle Grandpa” and he will be missed!