James Lindsay Wait, Jr. of Phoenix, passed away on June 2, 2012 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born April 11, 1929 to James Lindsay Wait, Sr. and Ruth Banta Davis in Albuquerque, NM. The family relocated to Evanston, IL in 1934. Jim graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1946 and enrolled at Northwestern University, where he was a member of the varsity wrestling team and Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity. He graduated from Northwestern’s School of Commerce in 1950 and was commissioned as part of the first post-war NROTC class. During the Korean Conflict, Jim served as operations officer aboard destroyers and an attack transport.
Jim moved to Phoenix In 1954, where he began his career in business machines at Burroughs Corp. and became active in the Phoenix Jaycees, eventually serving as board member and vice president during their 500-member 1950’s heyday. Jim met his future wife, Dorrene Norton, on a blind date in 1960. They were married at All Saints Episcopal Church on October 14, 1961. In 1972 Jim established Professional Business Equipment, specializing in the newest electronic devices. Jim served as president of Arizona Office Machines Dealers Association in 1979-1980 and traveled the country presenting sales seminars for the national organization. While building his business he remained committed to serving the community. He was involved in various youth activities, ultimately leading him to the presidency of the Madison School District’s Citizen Advisory Committee. He also served as president of Camelback Kiwanis 1986-1987. His dedication to the service organization continued well into retirement.
A longtime Scrabble player, Jim began playing competitively following his retirement in 1988. Scrabble cruises and wanderlust offered Jim and Dorrene the opportunity to travel extensively to varied locales in Russia, South America, Europe, New Zealand and Australia among others. Jim’s all-time favorite trip with Dorrene was to Africa, where they went on safari in Kenya and Tanzania. Since 1961 the Waits’ cabin in the Bradshaw Mountains and later the “Long Pine Lodge” were Jim’s most cherished places of all.
Whether “Grumpy” (as he was referred to by his beloved grandchildren) was dominating various family members in a game of Rummy Cubes or Tryce, or out exploring the woods on his quad, this is where he felt most content. His many friends in the Pine Flat community appreciated his knowledge and love of the area.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, James and Ruth Wait, and his sister, Helen Shomer. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Dorrene; children Charles Wait of Gilbert, Laura Maxson (Tim) of Scottsdale, Scott Wait of Phoenix, and Holly Brauer (Mike) of Phoenix; and six grandchildren: Jason and Lindsay Wait, William and Alex Maxson, and Eston and Max Brauer.
A celebration of life service will be held at 10:00 A.M., Saturday, June 9, 2012, at All Saints Episcopal Church located at 6300 North Central Avenue in Phoenix. Reception immediately following. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014, Camelback Kiwanis Memorial Fund, 1426 W. Luke, Phoenix, AZ 85013 or All Saints Church.