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James G. Law

NORTH CANAAN — James G. Law, 90, of North Canaan and formerly of Sheffield died on June 10, 2018.

He was born in Lindenhurst, Long Island, N.Y., on June 30, 1927, the son of Ann (Gilligan) and William C. Law.

James grew up in Lindenhurst and graduated from Lindenhurst High School in 1945. He enlisted in the Navy in January 1945 at the age of 17. Just before graduation from high school, he left for basic training in Sampson, N.Y. 

He served in the Navy from June 1945 through August 1946 as a seaman first class and boatswain mate aboard the USS Sangay, which was an ammunition supply ship in World War II. 

The Sangay toured the South Pacific, shuttling mines and ammunition to ships serving in the Pacific theatre. He received the Victory Medal, American Theatre Medal and Asiatic Pacific Medal for his service.  

After serving in the Navy he worked at Bulk’s Nursery in Babylon, N.Y., where he learned horticulture and landscape design. Together he and his high school sweetheart, the former Emily M. Haber, purchased and ran The Little Flower Shop in Lindenhurst. 

In 1957, the family moved to Sheffield, where they owned and operated the Undermountain Orchards in Sheffield and later the Sheffield Flower and Garden Shop and Sheffield Landscape Contracting. 

Jim designed and executed exquisite plantings for many homes and businesses in southern Berkshire County and northwestern Connecticut. He was also known for the beautiful brick and stone work that enhanced his designs.  He continued this work, both in the Sheffield area and in Florida into his 80s. In 2013, he retired to North Canaan and lived with his daughter, Linda, and her husband.

James was active in each of his communities and believed that giving back was an important part of being a responsible person. He served several terms on the Sheffield Planning Board and acted as its chair during his tenure. He was also a proud Kiwanian while in Lindenhurst and in Sheffield. He was active in the Kiwanis Club for more than 70 years. He served the Sheffield Kiwanis Club in a variety of positions including president. 

He was an avid athlete and believed that youngsters should have opportunities to participate in sports. For many years he organized and coordinated the Sheffield Little League Program, which was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club. He also coached Little League and basketball. Jim was also a baseball umpire and umpired games across Berkshire County. He was also very active in his church community and managed the Our Lady of the Valley Church Cemetery for years. 

James was a hard worker; he gave his all to any project or job he undertook. He was honest, kind and compassionate. He believed that people, regardless of their heritage should be treated with kindness and respect. He went out of his way to help others and was totally devoted to his family and friends. His greeting of “Hello, my friend,” was shared with all those he encountered. He lived his life with integrity and spread that message by example wherever he went. 

James is survived by his beloved children, James Law Jr. and his wife, Susan, of Sheffield and his daughter, Linda, and her husband, David Peppe, of North Canaan; his grandchildren, Ian Law, Emily Law and her partner, Justin Grahn, Robert and his wife, Phyllis Law, Jamie and his wife, Erica Law, Daniel and his wife, Sholly, and Louise Peppe and her husband, Brad McLeod; and his great-grandchildren, Alissa Rathbun, Nia, Annabelle, Taylor, Claire and Piper Law as well as Anna and James Peppe and Linden Peppe McLeod.  

He was predeceased by his wife, Emily, in 1971; their son Robert W. Law in 2018; and his second wife, Florence Law, in 1995. He also leaves behind his partner of many years, Alma Joyce Ring of Indianapolis, Ind. 

A Liturgy of Christian burial was held at St. Joseph’s Church in North Canaan on Saturday, June 16, the Rev. Iain Highet officiating.  Burial with military honors followed at Our Lady of the Valley cemetery in Sheffield.

Arrangements are under the care of the Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home in Great Barrington.

Memorial donations may be made to the Sheffield Kiwanis Club — James G. Law Scholarship Fund. This fund was established in 2007 by his family in honor of his 80th birthday. Yearly scholarships are offered to a deserving graduating senior from Mount Everett Regional High School who wishes to study landscape design or horticulture.

To send remembrances to his family, go to www.finnertyandstevens.com.