James D. Shealey was born to the late Norman Shealey and Blondell Shealey on February 8, 1950. He departed this earthly life on Sunday, April 24, 2022.
James leaves to cherish his memories by his sister Bobbie J. Williams- Akron, OH, nephew Kevin E. Williams- Tampa, FL; Nieces Chavonne M. Mitchell- Akron, OH, and Jeanine Williams (Bart Skinner)- Akron, OH; Great Nieces Francine M. Williams- Akron, Oh, Natosha J Williams, Mariah Pickett, Rachel Pickett- Akron, OH; Great Great Niece Adriana Green- Akron, OH; Great Great Nephews Jeremy Thompson, Jesiah Thompson, Jemeir Thompson, and Nolan Krager- all Akron, OH; Godsons Jonathan Fields Sr.- Austin, TX, Andre Young (Randi)- Greyson, GA, Ronnel Blackmon (Tinika)- Roswell, GA, Elim Wilson- Akron, OH. G-Grandchildren Michael and Justin Young-Grayson, GA, Carter and Reagan Blackmon- Roswell, GA. James will be missed by Rock, his beloved pet rottweiler who was a companion by his side each and every day. HE IS PRECEDED IN DEATH BY HIS BROTHER NORMAN “JUNNIE SHEALEY AND HIS PARENTS.
Born and raised in Akron OH, James Shealey is known to some as Jim, to some as Coach, to others as Coach Shealey, to others as Mr. Shealey, to some as Pops, and to a few as DAD! At the young age of 17, Jim accepted Christ which led him to his Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling from Anderson University in Indiana after receiving his Bachelor’s Degree from the Univ of Akron. Jim dedicated over 30 years of his life coaching and mentoring students. For James or Jim Shealey, he was known for his loyalty, his commitment to service and the community building efforts of second chances. The legacy that he left in education with the Akron Public School system allowed for many to find comfort and direction in knowledge and having the ability to change their future circumstance by gaining more. In the opportunity of sports, he showed desire, commitment, and dedication to his players and staff by leading them to develop and grow as leaders. From coaching football at Akron Buchtel (Assistant Coach), to Akron East Highschool (Head Coach) then later at Firestone Highschool (Quarterback and Defensive Coordinator) the connection and legacy he led was with the mentality “hard nose”
and a “Get It Done” mentality. Coaching track was also a passion as he took the most unlikely and guided them to levels that not many could have seen done. “Winning and losing is a part of
life and in sports you learn how to deal them both”, Shealey reminded students, staff, and athletes of this through his passion of leadership and coaching. Once his time as a teacher and coach was complete, Shealey then marched on to lead his community as a member of City Council (2000-2010) in efforts to help the now adults in the Akron community strive towards betterment and being an active part of their community. The feeling of raising kids was not his biological duty but civic responsibility/duty and to help those parents have the opportunity through work and education was crucial in his quest to employ every able body in the city. The difference that having employment that allowed for you to then live a life where you could be present in the lives of your children was important and the drive for Jim. After multiple years in Akron City Council as a Ward 5 Council man he then transitioned to City Council at-large where he now would be influential in making decisions not only for his Ward 5 community but also the entire city of Akron. During which Shealey chaired the Council’s Public Safety Committee, and Vice Chairman of the board of directors for the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation.
Once his mission was complete in Akron, he then took his talents to the state of Georgia where he found retirement wasn’t just 6 Saturdays and 1 Sunday but another civic duty to work on a different level of politics. Jim became the first black chairman of the Gwinnett County Democratic party and also as a member of the Gwinnett County African American Caucus where he once served as Vice Chairman. We lost a very precious gift to this world from teaching, to coaching, to politics, to a close Church brother!