“Jimmy” Medding, 56, of Appleton Park, Ipswich, passed away March
23, 2009, on his 56th birthday, at home in the midst of his family.
Born in Beverly
March 23, 1953, the son of the late George and Evelyn (Whipple)
Medding, he lived his entire life in Ipswich. He had Downs
Syndrome, and his parents were very involved in the formation and
activities of The North Shore Association for Retarded Children
during the 1950's and 60's. He was educated in small private
classes, and then mainstreamed into the Ipswich Public Schools. He
attended Hogan Sheltered Workshop for several years. In 1986 he was
employed by Ipswich Ford where he worked until his retirement in
October 2007. All of the Ipswich Ford Family embraced Jim, gave
importance to his life, and allowed him to develop to more than his
potential. For this his family has been enormously grateful.
Jim was a real and
very visible part of Ipswich everyday life. He was befriended and
safeguarded by the Police and Fire Departments, receiving authentic
uniform hats which he wore with pride. He participated in all the
town parades, proudly carrying the American Flag, standing at
attention during ceremonies. He was also very proud of his FBI cap,
and took seriously his roll as an FBI agent. He was perhaps most
recognized on his bicycle commuting to work; directing traffic to
allow himself to cross the intersections. He bought the newspaper
daily, and usually a donut and coffee. In his later years, he
stopped at local convenience stores to pick up a sandwich, diet coke
and honeybuns, which he often ate sitting on the bleachers at
Jim was a great
collector of papers: newspapers, magazines, old school papers,
family letters and cards. He saved and filed everything. He also
enjoyed traveling with his family throughout much of Europe. One
special trip was a birthday weekend in London several years ago,
where he saw the stage production of CATS and he bought his familiar
black CATS sweatshirt. Although in his younger years he was very
tight-fisted, he developed an appreciation for the value of money.
He donated the proceeds of his can collection to the building
campaign of the Ipswich YMCA, and enjoyed swimming there. He
especially liked being able to pay his way when the family went out
to eat, favorite places being The Clam Box and McDonalds.
limitations, Jim was encouraged and allowed by his family, his
community, and his family at Ipswich Ford, to live an independent,
active and happy life.
He will be missed
by his sister, Tiphany DiRollo, who has been living with him, by his
brother and sister-in-law, Joe and Sue Medding of Greenville, SC,
and his nephew Jonathan Medding and his family of Zurich,
Switzerland. His smile is unforgettable and will remain our best
memory of Jim.
service will be held Friday 7 pm in the Whittier-Porter Funeral
Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich, following a visitation from 5 to 7 pm.
Family and all his friends are respectfully welcomed. The family
requests memorial contributions be sent to Hospice of the North
Shore, 78 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA 01923, who tended him
graciously and respectfully in his last days.