JAMES RICHARD AMORESE (PAPAW)
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James Richard Amorese “Papaw”, 70, of East Palatka, was called to be with Jesus and reunite with Susan on Monday, 27 January 2020 at his home as he was surrounded by loving family.
Born on 10 January 1950 in Chelsea, Massachusetts, he lived majority of his life in the Tidewater Virginia area and had lived in Putnam County for the past 3 years coming from Knott's Island, North Carolina. He had worked his way up as a young man from a lineman at Virginia Power and Light Company and retired as a Supervisor serving thousands of customers in Eastern Virginia representing Dominion Power Company for more than 30 years of dedicated service.
Under his tutelage and care, many workers, mentors and apprentices have grown to safely flourish in their trades to enjoy safe and happy lives with their families. Many of which have visited Pop over the past year. Friendships that he has forged in hardship, pain and love though the years. There is not one life that Pop has touched that their families have not been all the better for it. He cared for people deeply and gave everyone a chance.
His passion was his family, when his wife, Susan, was afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, Richard, as a passion of love, educated himself, and made it his life’s work to make her life as comfortable as possible for her. Under his care, she beat the odds and she thrived and enjoyed a wonderful 25 years of travel, gatherings, reunions and love when all others including doctors gave up.
In his later years, we had noticed during our travels that he was experiencing some discomfort, especially in his back, and after many visits to the emergency room, I took him to Mayo Clinic and we insisted that we weren’t leaving without an answer to his issue. And we got it! On 8 February we received a text message with the dreadful news,…. It was Adenocarcinoma, Advanced Stage IV, the doctors gave him three months and told us to get his things in order,……. As I gave Pop the news, he looked and said “Challenge Accepted”!
The doctors offered him treatments of Radiation, Chemo, rest, pain meds, etc, to which his replied,…… no thanks! I will do this on my own through prayer and through what God has prepared me to do! You see through all those years of taking care of Susan, for two years he was studying about this very cancer.
He was active up until the last three days before his passing. He raised his ducks, chickens, peacocks,…. Performed projects building aviaries, worked on projects at the house always improving the lives of those around him. Throughout the summer he visited with his friends, his children, taught his grandchildren and performed ministry by sharing what God was doing in his life wherever he went to whoever would listen. He was truly a remarkable man and there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. He had even made plans to gator hunt with Troy Landry whom he met during one of his travels. They don’t make men like Pop anymore! He even got his trophy gator “on his own”—“On his own terms”—“In is own way”, he got his trophy 13 footer, He was not beaten or defeated.
He had such an extreme love and commitment for Susan and doing things for her it as admirable. She and Richard had traveled extensively in their retirement years, both in and out of the country as well as up and down the eastern and western seaboards, she only lacked seeing 4 of these 50 United States because of Papaw. They were particularly fond of the beautiful legacy they left in their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Their passion was Jesus and their family!
He was particularly proud of his grand-daughter Rialeigh Inman Yoder, who married a man who continues to serve our country in the Navy and the two of them have traveled extensively around the world.
He was fond of his furry family members throughout the years, dogs Shannon, Peaches, Abigale and Isabelle, and of course Pop’s many birds including his ducks and peacocks.
To visit our home in Palatka is to visit “Knott’s Island South” the house that Pop built, not only the inhabitants, the attitudes, the trophy's, but the stories and the ism’s the come with each trophy and memento that will always be with us.
Pop had many hobbies and belonged to several organizations including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Ducks Unlimited; North Landing Hunt Club; Lonesome Three Hunting Club and was a member of the Carpenter’s House Church in Virginia Beach; Knott’s Island Methodist Church in Knott’s Island, NC; and Trinity Baptist Church in Palatka, Florida.
He was a commercial Crabber and Fisherman along with his son Matthew and daughter Jo for many years in Virginia and North Carolina Waters. He loved working with them in the business as well as introducing crabbing and fishing to his children and grandchildren Amanda, Kandra, James, Sean, Madison, Kaydence and Katelyn. He took pride in watching each of them grow individually in their own way and was their biggest cheerleader and staunch supporter in every way, he relished in their accomplishments and was a comforting shoulder in times of trial and trouble, he was always there---right, wrong or indifferent. He enjoyed showing them new things in life, whether mending a net, tying a knot or making a crab pot, Papaw always had life lessons to share right up to the very end. He very last words to me as his son-in-law was “Do not worry about me, God has me” I will never forget his strength, tenacity, drive and his love for Jesus. He was truly a man of faith and belief and it was his desire that he see his entire family on that great day when we are all called home!
Richard is survived by his loving son, Matthew (Beth) Amorese of Knott's Island, NC; daughters, Joanne (Ricky) Bybee of East Palatka, Florida, and Jessica (Steven) Morrison-Slaughter of Dyersburg, TN; brothers, Lloyd (Debbie) Amorese of Virginia Beach, VA; Arthur (Rita) Amorese of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Michael (Kathy Shannon) Amorese of Virginia Beach, Virginia; sisters, Janice Amorese of Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Cindy (George) Core of Sneads Ferry, North Carolina.
He is predeceased by his father James Vincent Amorese, mother Marjorie Amorese and son John Richard Amorese.
Over the many years that I personally was blessed as a son-in-law with Pop, he embraced me as his own and I was able to spend a lot of one-on-one time with him. The very thing he always stressed to me was how much he treasured, valued and loved each member of his family, brothers, sisters and children, and grand-children…. That we all had differences, flaws and imperfections, But through it all, and above all, we were blood and that means everything. He always ended with “Never forget that”!
Richard cherished the love of 14 grandchildren and 8 great-grand-children and one great grandchild on the way.
A celebration of his life and legacy will be held on Saturday, 22 February at 2pm at Thalia United Methodist Church, 4321 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach, Virginia, with the Reverend Frank Jennings officiating.
All are invited to join the family for food and fellowship immediately following in the fellowship hall at the church. Please do not bring anything. All is provided.
The family would like to acknowledge and commend the love and support of all those who help care for Pop and Susan over the past two years, their love and care both physically and spiritually, was remarkable. God Bless you all and the work you do! Specifically Cindy, Lee, Jakie and Chiquita whom Pop adored and loved Immensely.
The family requests that donations be made in lieu of flowers to: Community Hospice & Palliative Care of Putnam County
5111 Crill Ave, Palatka, Florida 32177
Memories and condolences may be expressed to the family at Richard’s Book of Memories page at www.johnsonoverturffunerals.com .
Arrangements are entrusted to Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka, Florida.