JAMES JENNINGS SHEERAN
"To Our Dad,
Forever and Always
Our Sun, Moon,
Stars and Sky...
We love you. Godspeed."
— SUZY, KIM, LESLIE AND BETHE
“James was a tremendous friend and the consummate gentleman. His gift of friendship to me and my family was one of more than two decades. He was a kind man of great wit, wisdom, warmth, generosity and talent in a number of areas. James was a successful advertising executive, entrepreneur, publisher, editor, writer, author and visual artist.
There is a great sorrow in the loss of a true gentleman and tremendous friend, but, to have had the enormous honor and pleasure to know James over these years is indeed a great gift and a blessing. His memory will live on in our hearts and minds, his magazine will continue to publish, his art will continue to inspire and amuse, and his spirit shall be with us forever. God bless you and keep you dear James.”
— DAME CELIA LIPTON FARRIS
“I first met Jim 12 years ago when I moved to Palm Beach. My father’s birthday was coming up and I tried to find some contemporary artwork for his new home. As I was chatting with an art dealer, another customer overheard my conversation and told me about Jim’s special abstract art and I should go look at it. Well I didn’t realize at the same time that Jim was also a well respected businessman and publisher of “Palm Beach Society.”
Upon meeting Jim, I was indeed impressed by his talent, kindness, intellectual and funny personality, needless to say, we hit it off and over the years, became great friends. I never heard a bad word or negative comment coming from Jim — (what a great lesson we can all learn). He always had humor that was special to the occasion. He was a people person writing about people and guess what everybody knew Jim loved and respected him. We will miss you Jim and God bless you.”
— PATRICK PARK
“Jim was a kind and gentle man who did a lot of things for the community. Through his “Palm Beach Society” magazine, he provided a forum for many causes and helped innumerable charities raise awareness. This is an important legacy and he certainly will be missed.”
— DIANA ECCLESTONE
“Jim was a wonderful man — a good friend — always had a smile on his face and a little story to tell. He will be missed”.
— RAY AND RUTH PERELMAN
“I have known Jim Sheeran for more than a decade. He was a hard working, creative businessman, whom I truly respected. For several years, I was sure that Jim must have had a ‘twin’ here in town because I rarely went to an event where he was not present.
Jim was a gentleman in every way, always very complementary of other’s accomplishments while understating his own. He had a very creative mind for marketing. He left his legacy in not only the Society magazine, but also the “Book of Connections,” the “Young Society” and other publications that were appealing to many within the community.
I will miss my annual summer lunch with Jim. For many years, we would meet during the less hectic times to discuss the comings and goings on Royal Palm Way and the business community in general. Palm Beach will go on, but I’ll miss Jim Sheeran, a fellow businessman and friend.”
— DAVID H. SCAFF
“Introspective of “Palm Beach Society” of which he knew so well. He was a private man, but always reached out to you with genuine concern, and advice that was always to the point and very crisp, I may add. I always started with a joke or funny story and when he laughed you can see the warmth inside him that was deep rooted. His talents were vast and I especially enjoyed his columns that dissected. The subject matter was extraordinary literary ease. I will think of him often. And remember his philosophy to live for the day.”
— HOWARD RISICK
“In honor of Our Beloved Friend Jim - Empty spots remain in many hearts this day as your charismatic style, sophistication and selfless nature will be sorely missed. Your wisdom, guidance and devotion to the well-being of your community have spread will beyond the pages of your publication and into the minds and souls of those whose lives you’ve touched. We are most appreciative of the many years of generous support you have bestowed upon our organization. You’ve captured our hearts not only as a consummate professional, but a treasured friend - a true Prince Charming of Palm Beach.”
— FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS, YOUR FRIENDS AT THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION
“We are truly saddened by the loss of our dear friend. Jim held our highest regard for his integrity, professionalism, and commitment to this community. He was key to creating defining and maintaining the visions and standards for his magazine and our charitable community. He will be missed.”
— YVONNE LYNAM, VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
“Jim Sheeran was a great friend and a person who was so supportive to me both personally and professionally. I will always be in his debt for showing me the confidence and strength born amidst the struggles and disappointments in business to forge ahead and to do so with care, kindness and thoughtfulness. Jim was truly a man who believed and taught me that the greatest gift in life was the journey. I will always be so grateful for his gentle wisdom, listening ears, being a coach, confidante, a cheer leader and such a loyal and giving friend. Jim you will be with us forever.”
— KYLE ZIMMER
“There is an old Persian proverb that offers sound advice, even as we traverse the 21st century: ‘He who knows, and knows what he knows, is wise — follow him...!’
I came rather late to Jim’s small circle of friends. While I had played in many orchestras and even conducted a few, I was clearly short on knowledge and the understanding of the mystery we call Palm Beach. Even a greater puzzle was finding the right program mix to attract the public of this diverse and talented Town to the concerts of its only professional orchestra.
When I was asked to assume the musical leadership of the Symphony in 2004, I was clearly in need of a leader, a model and a friend. Jim was highly respected by my predecessors, the Tighes, and the members of the Symphony Board. They were impressed with his standing in the Town, his public relations acumen, and his knowledge of the key players. Their advice to me: “listen to him!”
They were right and I quickly became a fan as well as a disciple. When I think of Jim Sheeran on the occasion of his passing, I am reminded again of the Old Persian proverb: ‘He who knows, and knows what he knows, is wise’ — Follow the example!
— RAY ROBINSON, MUSIC DIRECTOR AND GENERAL MANAGER, PALM BEACH SYMPHONY
“Sing No Sad Songs For Me.” Resurrecting — in total sadness — our invaluable friendship and the literary confidences we shared, that, I guess, would have been Jim’s preferred eulogy.
We were more than editor and writer. We “swang” the journalistic bat from the same side of the plate. When he asked me to review Palm Beach Pops concerts some three years ago, we struck a deal. “I’m not your editor,” he insisted. “You write it and I’ll print it.”
My greatest compliment came from Jim: “People tell me reading your stuff is like being there.” God Speed, Buddy. We’re all better off having known you and having shared your “Palm Beach Society Magazine” passion. You left an indelible mark. This town can never be the same without you.” — JIM MORRISSEY
“Jim was a very special person to me because he always treated me as someone special to him. It wasn’t long before I figured out that Jim’s trademark was treating everyone as special. Jim was a wonderful entrepreneur and went about his work as enjoyment. He helped make Palm Beach a better place with his weekly magazine. He had us all waiting for the next issue to see the pictures of our friends. Now whenever I pick up an issue of “Palm Beach Society,” I will think of Jim and his wonderful kindness to us all. So long good friend, may you rest in God’s peace.”
— ROBERT HARVEY
“James Jennings Sheeran was both a gentleman and a scholar who’s dedication to portraying Palm Beach in the most positive light was extremely important to him. Jim never had a unkind word to say about anybody. He had a great sense of humor and was a perfect example of what a Palm Beach gentleman should be. His incredible command of the written word and wit was enjoyed by all of us through his uncanny way of presenting society as Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of ‘Palm Beach Society’ magazine weekly in it’s 53rd year. Jim demonstrated in his gracious manner and style that Palm Beach is the last bastion of civility in todays world. It would be a great disappointment to him if his passing was an end of a era of genuine gentility. I will certainly miss him as will many other who had the honor of knowing such a great man. Jim, we celebrate your life and will think of you every time we open each issue of ‘Palm Beach Society’ in the years to come. Your legacy lives on!”
— DR. LAYNE D. NISENBAUM
“Jim was a gentleman and a consummate professional. He could be prickly, but that was only because he was a perfectionist. In the end, impeccable manners and a kind heart defined him. I think the word “gallant” describes Jim best.”
— MARGARET WILESMITH, PRESIDENT, WILESMITH ADVERTISING/DESIGN
“I first met Jim when I opened my store of Worth Avenue. He couldn’t have been nicer or more welcoming to me. His support and kind words have meant so much to my business and to me personally over the years. His presence will be greatly missed.” — TRACY DARA KAMENSTEIN
“Jim Sheeran bestowed on us the manners of a gentleman. His wisdom and clarity were always reassuring under any circumstances. Jim perfectly understood most about the life in which he was played. He was a raconteur with impeccable wit and he shared his graces generously. His Palm Beach Society magazine, created Flash and Dash with its photo essays and highlighted important philanthropic endeavors. He will be deeply missed for a long time to come.” — JAMES R. BORYNACK, FINDLAY GALLERIES
“James will always be remembered by Shirley and me for his caring attitude. He wanted everyone to have a fair and unbiased reputation and ran his publishing group accordingly. He liked to always just fade into the background at events. His Memory will not fade; it will stay in the forefront.”
— ROBERT & SHIRLEY WYNER, BARCLAYS INTERNATIONAL REALTY
“I will always remember James for his dedication to Palm Beach... its people... its charities... its history. He was an astute observer and chronicled the area and its events with old world flair. I will miss him greatly.”
— JAMES KERWIN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, KERWIN COMMUNICATIONS
“It has been my great pleasure and honor to know Jim Sheeran for more than a decade. A gentleman, a friend, a colleague and a true leader in covering the charitable and social happenings of Palm Beach. Jim was a man who had a good word for every one he encountered. His passing represents a great loss to the community and most personally of a long-standing and trusted friend. From everyone at Tiffany & Co., I extend our sympathy to his daughters, extended family at ‘Palm Beach Society’ and to the legion of friends that will miss Jim so very much.”
— JEFFREY BATEMAN, TIFFANY & CO.
“Jim was a very gracious, old-school gentleman. He always had a good word to say about people. I will miss him very much.”
— WILLIAM SECORD, WILLIAM SECORD GALLERY
“I first met Jim Sheeran when he was the marketing director of the Pepsi-Cola Company. Like so many others, I was drawn to Jim by his charm, intellect and courtesy. Jim embodied the spirit of Palm Beach and the later years of his life were dedicated to creating and maintaining a culturally rich community. His stewardship of ‘Palm Beach Society Magazine’ was instrumental in Palm Beach County developing a reputation as a cultural destination. His passing is a terrible loss to the area and to the arts in particular. On behalf of the staff, Board of Directors and Orchestra of the Palm Beach Pops I extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family and those who loved him.”
— BOB LAPPIN, THE PALM BEACH POPS
“]im was a rare gem — a great friend and confidant. With his suave wit and debonair grace, he brought dignity to the weekly tabloid. He was a legendary gentleman in the truest sense — They broke the mold after him. We will all miss him greatly.”
— PAUL HENRY, BETTERIDGE
“It is with sadness that I write to you to express my deepest condolences for the loss of Jim Sheeran. He was a true gentleman and was always a pleasure to talk with. He was very consistent in keeping the dignity of Palm Beach society intact. He will be sorely missed.”
— CRAIG MILLER, DIRECTOR, GRAFF
“Jim Sheeran was a man of integrity and conviction, who used the pages of his publication to promote the organizations and individuals of Palm Beach who make a positive impact on our community. He was a gracious man, who was outstandingly sensitive and accommodating to the needs of our town. He supported both the long-standing charities and the new ones. Jim instilled Palm Beach with a sense of pride. We will miss him dearly.”
— WILLIAM R. EUBANKS
“The American Cancer Society mourns the passing of our friend Jim Sheeran. Jim was certainly a very special person, a cherished friend of this organization and someone we feel blessed to have known in this life. His untimely passing further emphasizes the critical work we do every day to find a cure for this disease that affects so many. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s family at this time. With our deepest sympathies.” — THE STAFF OF THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY, PALM BEACH
“Jim was a very private person. I was one of his first friends in Palm Beach and remained that way over the years. I will really miss him.”
— JEAN VAN WAVEREN
“Palm Beach has lost a true gentleman. Jim will be greatly missed.”
— CRAIG DICKMAN, CARTIER
“Jim Sheeran was a very devoted and wonderful friend who I have known for a very long time. Over many luncheons, we solved the problems of the world. I felt honored to know him and have him as a friend, he will be really missed as he was one of the good guys.”
— MORT KAYE
“My friend Jim Sheeran always reminded me to feel the genuine greatness of the moment. He was a unique, valuable person in every way. He understood the joys of life. We will all miss him and cherish the time we spent with him.”
— LOIS POPE
“Many persons do not realize the seriousness of reports in newspaper publications. In the years I had known and admired James Sheeran, he was always very mindful of such ramifications. In every instance when he and I discussed the happenings in both public and private lives, (and there were many), at no time did he ever breach my admonition “not for publication.” Jim will be missed. His reporting and comments were accurate and never was there vindictiveness in any of his writings.
Space does not allow me to enumerate the details of our long and satisfying relationship and a list of his impeccable qualities and credentials. Others in the newspaper realm should take notice of his abilities and attributes that elevated him to the top of his field. It will be very difficult to find anyone with an equally creative mind and ability to articulate ideas in such a practical fashion as he always did. He was a very good writer and a good man.”
— ROBERT M. MONTGOMERY, JR.
“James Sheeran was truly an amazingly talented man with an extraordinary gift of making friends with everyone whose lives he touched through the years. He will be sorely missed in Palm Beach, especially by his friends at Classic Bookshop. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and associates at ‘Palm Beach Society’.”
— THE STAFF OF CLASSIC BOOKSHOP
“Jim Sheeran was a great friend to us and our sons from the time we moved to Palm Beach. His ‘Palm Beach Society’ captured the wonderful spirit of Palm Beach and he was always so generous to us and to our charities. A true gentleman, a delightful person to spend time with, he will be truly missed.”
—JOHN K. AND MARIANNE CASTLE
“Jim Sheeran was an artist, a musician and a writer — a true renaissance man He was a dear friend to my late husband Melvin Shalek and myself from the time he moved to Palm Beach and started his magazine, ‘Palm Beach Society’.”
— DONNA SHALEK
“There are very special times in one’s business career where you have the opportunity of a professional colleague also becoming your friend. Over the years, our professional relationship with Jim and ‘Palm Beach Society’ grew from cordial and professional to warm and familiar. He will be deeply missed, a dear friend and a dear colleague.”
—TONY MANNING AND JIM MITCHELL
“In the mode of keeping it simple: James Sheeran had style and he had class. Another unsung daily hero in championing his passion — bringing out the best in others. He was a great friend and will be greatly missed.”
— FRED BARR
“Jim was a true gentleman. He was always a great friend to the Preservation Foundation, as well to other non-profit organizations in Palm Beach. His support and friendship will be sorely missed.”
— JOHN MASHEK
“Arlette and Bob Gordon have lost a good friend. That knew Jim since the day they moved to Palm Beach 26 years ago. He was a real gentleman... smart.. witty... very supportive to many, many chanties over the years. Jim covered Palm Beach Society in an eloquent way, sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous, sometimes sarcastic... he was a true insider.”
— BOB AND ARLETTE GORDON
“With fond memories of a dear friend, a gifted artist, a talented writer, the ultimate wordsmith with a quick wit, a brilliant mind, a life well lived. He will be deeply missed.” —SYLVIA JAMES
“Jim’s passing is a great loss to the community. I’m sorry to lose a great friend.”
— ORATOR WOODWORD
“Our dearest Jim was like the great eagle. He took so many of us under his wing and guided us with gentleness and great wisdom. He had a beautiful way of encouraging me in my designs while at the same time keeping me focused on my business. I am reminded of his guidance when I look at the beautiful book of shells I received, wherein he wrote, “Each shell is a glorious tribute to the Supreme Being.” He cared for our spirits and held so many of us close to his heart. Palm Beach has lost a very special person.”
“On behalf of the International Society of Palm Beach and myself as its founder and President, I Will always remember the many years Jim Sheeran covered the International Society’s events in a most elegant and supportive way. Jim Sheeran was a unique human being and will always be remembered.”
— HERME DE WYMAN MIRO
“Jim always met you with a very happy hello and a kind word. He loved PB and it showed. The perfect dapper gentleman with the utmost integrity. He will be greatly missed.”
— DANIEL PONTON, CLUB COLETTE
“Jim, I will miss you so much, you were brilliant, witty, so unmistakably you! You knew what matters most, how we live and love.. I have tears in my eyes to know your familiar face and voice will be just a memory! We never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.”
— JASMINE HOROWITZ
“James Jennings Sheeran was the epitome of elegance. He was an artist with words, as well as the sculptures he created. He was an articulate master of the English language, a bon vivant and a true gentleman. He seemed to possess a tough exterior in his role as a publisher, but underneath that was a very soft and kind heart. I loved his writing style, created with thoughtful alliterations and compliments. He knew just about everyone on the Island as well as their intensions. His passing marks the end of an era in Palm Beach, and he will be greatly missed by those who appeared weekly on his magazine’s pages as well as the countless others who read them.”
— JACKIE SLATKOW, SLATKOW & HUSAK PR
“When I first encountered James Sheeran, he was playing the piano at Jan Terrana’s house. I thought he was a professional. “You play very well for a pirate,” I said, referring to his much-noted resemblance to Errol Flynn, and I began to sing along with his Cole Porter. “You sing very well for an opera soprano,” he said, referring to the overblown renditions of most sopranos.
Later, I discovered that he was really a publisher, and he discovered that I was a writer. That began my 20-year friendship and collaboration with this brilliant, magical man, on columns, books and radio shows. It is painful to realize that I’ll never again hear that purring voice on the phone, “How’s everything with Ariane, just perfect?” And before I could complain, he would continue, “Now, here’s the deal...” and outline another genius project. Jim always said he was primarily a businessman, and he may have been a good one, but I knew him as an artist of Da Vinci versatility. He was a sculptor, painter, musician, but most of all he was a poet. Alas, this is not an age of poetry, so he turned his passion for words to his ‘Palm Beach Society.’
Last summer, Jim was writing a novel and asked me to do a little editing. It was an amazing book from a man who pretended to frivolity, a love story that was probably autobiographical, unforgettable for its depth and tenderness inscribed in that vivid Sheeran vocabulary. It revealed the sensitivity he always hid beneath a tough, Marine-hardened masculinity, always protecting his heart with a bright shell of cynical wit. Jim’s theatrical nature fell in love with Palm Beach, its elegance, glamour and joie de vivre. His magazine and several books were dedicated to honoring and preserving the Town’s special style. In a world reliant on social stature, he used his considerable power to reward those whom he felt deserving - those who were generous, beautiful, gracious, and kind. His dashing presence will be sorely missed.”
— ARIANE CSONKA COMSTOCK
“I have often said that while cystic fibrosis brought indescribable heartache to me and my family. (Our three beloved sons were diagnosed as having this fatal disease) it also brought ONE great blessing and that is the wonderful people I met because of it. Jim Sheeran was most certainly one of those special people. When Jim learned of my work on behalf of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and my determination to find a cure he stepped up to the plate and was ALWAYS there for us. He attended our annual Sixty-Five Roses gala, gave us great coverage and told the story many times with the hope that it would help us reach our goal: FINDING THE CURE. I am sorry that he did not live to see that blessed day... know that it would have given him great joy to write that article!
Jim and I formed a special friendship and shared many things including our love of the poetry of William Butler Yeats. Jim, I hope that you have found the peace we all seek. I, and so many of us, will miss you.”
— MARY G. WEISS, FOUNDING PRESIDENT
CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION
“For those of us who knew Jim.... we shall weep. For those of you who never knew Jim... we shall weep for you.”
— GINA FRANANO
“Needless to say, I’m still in a kind of fog after hearing about JJS. Partly because I wasn’t at all prepared; partly because I was so genuinely fond of him. I don’t know if you know the details of how my part in PBS came to be, so let me take a moment to tell you.
He phoned me in Manhattan in the late ‘80s and said that he was looking for a New York editor for the magazine which at that time was called The Palm Beach Social Pictorial. He said that he knew three publicists in New York and that his intention was to get recommendations from all three; interview the three candidates; and make a decision. It seems that, against all odds, all three publicists suggested me - despite the fact that I had never been a “social” editor. “So,” he said, “the job is yours if you want it.” He also said, “I can’t promise you we’ll publish every column that you submit... and you’ll only get paid for the ones we publish.” I’m proud of the fact that he published every column I submitted -even the 9/11 column that I wasn’t even sure I could write. Whenever he came to New York, it was always a special occasion when he’d call and suggest we meet for lunch or even just for coffee and discuss various aspects of the magazine and the magazine business in general. I think he’d like to be thought of as “a classy guy” - because in a world of fewer and fewer class acts, he truly stood apart. So, if you want a short and sweet tribute from someone who will really miss him terribly, just say that I’ll always think of him as a really classy guy.”
— TOM GATES
“Dear Jim, We will never forget your kindness. When we decided to winter in Palm Beach several years ago, you embraced us like life long friends. Always a gentleman, with the vocabulary of a true genius, you were what makes Palm Beach so special. Style, Class, Charm and a great sense of humor. You set the bar high and we did try to live up to your standards. Till we meet again dear friend. Missing you forever.”
— JANE PONTARELLI
“Jim, Never to be duplicated, Never to be forgotten. You were truly one-of-a-kind. Whether at a dinner party, Gala Ball or just a casual lunch, you never ceased to amaze me, on your take of what was going on. I will miss your devilish wit and charm. A privilege to have been your friend.”
— JOE PONTARELLI
“Jim was a cornerstone of the Palm Beach publishing community for decades. He made an indelible mark on society coverage which he approached with a quick wit and an insightful point of view. Most importantly, he was kind to everyone he encountered, whether or not the courtesy was returned. I miss him already.”
— CAREY O"DONNELL
“I will always remember Jim for his incisive wit and wry sense of humor — he was a one-of-a-kind and a true gentleman!”
— JANE BRANNEKY
“We would like to extend our deepest condolences and sympathy to the family and friends of Mr. Jim Sheeran. We are saddened to learn of the passing of Jim, he was a wonderful man and a dear friend. Jim had an extraordinary sense of humor and always had the ability to make you smile while in his presence. We are thankful to have had the honor and pleasure of knowing Jim. Palm Beach has lost one of their ‘Jewels.’ However his memory will shine on forever more.”
— JOSEPH D. CINQUE, THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF HOSPITALITY SCIENCES
“Jim, We will miss you. Over the years it’s been a pleasure to work with and know such a fine gentleman. We are sure that you are in a wonderful place now and can put in some good words for your friends, who are here missing you. God bless you.”
— NORMA AND SIMON FIREMAN
“Jim Sheeran — Ambassador of Worth Avenue, Word Aficionado, Author of Palm Beach Power & Glory, Wit & Wisdom, and the clickety-clack of his Remington typewriter have been silenced, and we will no longer be chided or guided, chilled or gilded by our cherished Sheeran whose passion for the written word was infamous. From the olden days in New York City to the golden days in the Palm Beaches, Jim Sheeran and I were always at work and play.
In the late 60’s Jim, who was active with Pepsi Cola, and I, a radio station owner whose client was Pepsi, often hung out at hot spots like Jimmy Westons. Later, after we matured to Palm Beach, we rubbed elbows at charity galas while we both played and worked the rooms.
His outstanding style, professionalism and elegance were noted wherever he went. I will remember Jim Sheeran for his unmistakable vibrancy and charismatic presence. In a note to Jim, I complimented him on a piece he had written about a Palm Beach resident. I wrote, “Just a short one… filled with compliments. I just read the latest issue of ‘Palm Beach Society’ and found your words to be exquisite.You have such a talent for wielding (s) words that carve out the picture you desire. At the risk of blowing smoke, I want you to know I think you’re a superb wordsmith, a scholar and still my hero.
Another hero of mine, Curt Gowdy, was praised by James Jennings Sheeran in ‘Palm Beach Society’ after Curt’s passing. His writing moved me so much, I dedicated it and read his passage about Curt on my radio and TV show. Jim was always able to express his feelings so appropriately. They say radio is “theatre of the mind,” but Jim was able to recreate a mood, a setting, an ambiance, a feeling so succinctly. His was the wittiest of wits, like no other.
This unflappable gentleman, worthy of Palm Beach and all its wonders, always referred to me as “the bird.” In Jim’s theatre of the mind, quite simply, “the bird” was “the word” for Dick Robinson. I will miss Jim Sheeran’s return to Capistrano.”
— DICK ROBINSON
“Jim was a kind, caring, fun and witty Charmer — a fabulous Gentleman who will be greatly miss
— ANITA HAMILTON MICHAELS
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“We were shocked and saddened to learn of Jim’s passing. He was always a loyal friend and a true gentleman.
When he learned of our efforts to form the School of the Arts Foundation Guild to present the annual Musical Luncheons featuring performances by the students from the Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Jim was very encouraging and applauded our efforts. He took the time to talk to us about our plans each season and, perhaps because of his own interest in and allegiance to the arts, expressed his admiration for our work to benefit the students at the Dreyfoos school.
Jim is simply irreplaceable; a Renaissance man who used his talents and business acumen to promote the good causes and the good people who make Palm Beach a great place to live. He will be sorely missed.”
— SIMON BENSON OFFIT AND
DOROTHY LAPPIN, SCHOOL OF THE ARTS FOUNDATION, INC.
“Jim was one of the more interesting people I have encountered in my life. His dry wit kept you on your toes, and being the perfectionist that he was, one always adhered to his strict rules & regulations. All charities benefited by having Jim be a part of the Palm Beach community. Having been around when Palm Beach Society began, I can attest to the successes he achieved, not only for himself but the new organizations that became incredibly visible due to his efforts. I will miss talking with him, and knowing he was always there for sage advice. Palm Beach has lost one of their major supporters and champions.
— KATHY ADAMS, MEDIAREACH PR
“I never met Jim personally, but I remember when I joined MorseLife in October, he was so warm in welcoming me to the community and expressed a wonderful willingness to support my work in promoting the events and services of my organization. I will always appreciate his effort to reach out to me.”
— GREG GOODMAN, MORSELIFE, INC.
“The Palm Beach Round Table will always remember Mr. Sheeran, Publisher of the ‘Palm Beach Society Magazine’, who featured so many of Palm Beach’s charitable organizations and helped promote their various good causes, including Palm Beach Round Table. Jim Sheeran will be remembered by many.”
— HERME DE WYMAN MIRO, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF THE PALM BEACH ROUND TABLE
“I had the privilege of knowing Jim since moving here in 1989. He was a wonderful friend with great stories to review at our annual “end of the season” luncheons. He came to all our family weddings and always had a great time dancing with everyone. He was well loved in Palm Beach for all his kindness and in his support in covering all the charitable events. He will be long remembered by many. Jim wrote in his book ‘The Opportunist’ - Opportunity.... to seize it may be to die, but to ignore it, is never to be born.”
— MARY BOYKIN
“When Jim arrived at one of the many seasonal galas or fundraisers, I always felt momentarily transported back to the 1940s not that I would know what the 1940s were like but I know from watching old movies that it was a time when going out was elegant and men were true gentlemen... debonair, self-assured, yet unassuming all while wearing the perfect tuxedo. That’s what Jim always seemed to project when he entered the room — he was, in the simplest term, a real gentleman in a world where there are few left.
I don’t know if Jim knew he was such a gentleman, but that’s the way I always described him when someone asked me about Jim. I’ve known Jim almost as long as I’ve been in the public relations business. From the day I met Jim nearly 16 years ago he always had a kind word to say no matter what. When talking to him on the phone, he would first confirm that life was good and then it was down to business — quick and decisive — exactly the way I like to deal with people. I felt honored when just a few months ago he told me I was part of the magazine’s ‘family.’
I always felt there was so much more to Jim that many of us didn’t know. He was a private fellow and remained that way as he slipped from this life. I am grateful that I knew Jim Sheeran. I will think of him when I watch old movies and remember what a dapper gentleman he was, and how much he will be missed. You left your mark on many people, Jim.. and you were an extraordinary gentleman right up to the end.”
— CHERYL CROWLEY
“Jim gave me my first big break as a writer, giving me an opportunity to write a features column, which is any journalist’s dream. He was always a mentor to me, and had a keen eye of what Palm Beachers expected from ‘Palm Beach Society,’ and he always delivered It was very important to him to promote the philanthropic causes and efforts of Palm Beach’s most generous citizens, and he was wonderfully successful in doing so. I will miss him and am honored to serve as a features writer for the magazine. His legacy will still live on through Palm Beach Society, and I will continue to make him proud.”
—ALLISON WEISS BRADY
“Everyone I met only had great things to say about him, and deservedly so.”
— MICHAEL PRICE
“I was shocked and very saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Sheeran. I feel honored to have known Mr. Sheeran for many years through my positions with Classic Bookshop and Jay Kravetz Photography, and I will miss him terribly - his smiling face, his wit, his humor. James Jennings Sheeran was a great man and his passing is a huge loss to everyone who knew him.”
— CHERYL DUPREE KRAVETZ
“Jim Sheeran was a rare bird — a peacock. The man I knew was kind, direct, genuine and gentile. Jim had impeccable manners and was fastidious about his appearance. Few have ever looked more dapper in a jacket and turtle neck than Jim, who could have easily passed for a retired silver screen star. Jim was a constant on the local landscape. For many years, he made cameo appearances at parties and receptions, showing support to myriad causes, and then he would quietly leave. He was completely hands-on when it came to his publication, ‘Palm Beach Society.’ Deliveries to his desk entailed an efficient review of materials, followed by a sincere exchange about how you were, and then a cheerful send-off — something like, “kiss, kiss. Keep smiling, little girl.” Constantly creating and never at a loss for an idea, Jim churned out copious amounts of copy and countless headlines. He authored detailed compendiums of Palm Beach-specific facts, lists and references, and sculpted and painted too. Our community has lost a very fine citizen and one of its most prolific chroniclers. Jim was dear and supportive friend that I will truly miss and never forget. My heart goes out to his family, co-workers and friends.”
— MAUREEN O'SULLIVAN
“Jim Sheeran was a wonderful guy, full of charm and wit and generosity — plus he was one hell of a good writer, editor and publisher. Being a good person is very important, but to also be a good writer and editor is extremely rare indeed.
When I started handling PR for The Colony Hotel in 2002, Jim was one of the first people I contacted and he proved to be an invaluable asset, always willing to offer a kind word, some friendly advice or a little joke that kept me chuckling for hours. To close our first season of the popular ‘Culture & Cocktails’ series with the Palm Beach County Cultural Council, we put together a panel of Palm Beach insiders to share insights and anecdotes — and Jim definitely earned the most applause that night. In a chat with him several years ago, I confided that ‘when I grow up, I want to be Jim Sheeran’ — because; in my opinion, he lived the perfect life. Of course, I was already in my 50’s when I talked to him about eventually ‘growing up,’ but I knew he would understand because Jim Sheeran was always incredibly young in spirit while wise beyond his years.”
— GARY SCHWEIKHART, PR-BS, INC.
“The planet needs more of this type of man — gracious, kind and concerned!”
— SUSAN E. RILEY
“Jim will be truly missed. He was always ready to give advice, help in any situation and provide feedback to our team in his own unique, colorful and candid way. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and associates at ‘Palm Beach Society’.”
— TRACY TILSON, TILSON COMMUNICATIONS
“Jim was the quintessential gentleman, author and a very dear friend. No island party was complete without his distinguished presence. Everyone rushed to devour his periodical every week and to see what the ‘Who’s Who’s of Society’ were wearing, going to and with whom they were going. There was simply no one like him and we will all miss him dearly.”
— RICHARD AND ROBIN BERNSTEIN
“I knew Jim Sheeran for about 25 years. We were both in the same business. I published “Florida Woman Magazine” and he, of course the Pictorial, both wrote books and were born in Chicago. As a result, we had a lot in common. Jim nor I looked at each other as competitors, rather friends and he was supportive of my books, and I return never failed to mention him in my novels. He got a kick out of being in my latest book, “Palm Bitch” and would love to find himself again, in the pages of my upcoming sags on Palm Beach, coming out this fall called “The Escort.” Here’s to a good friend and wonderful artist.”
— JOELLA CAIN
“Jim Sheeran was a very good friend of Hanley Center. He often witnessed the help and hope we give to individuals and families affected by addiction. And we could always count on Jim to perfectly portray and publicize in Palm Beach Society our special events.”
— TERRY R. LEHRMAN, HANLEY CENTER
In the last months of Jim Sheeran’s life, I had lunch with him almost every week. I am writing a book about Palm Beach and he was generously helping me. He gave me the names and phone numbers of potential interviews, offered me his deepest insights, and passed on the latest gossip. I began to realize that there were at least three Jim Sheeran’s. There was the public man, who liked always being on the edge. He didn’t want to get too close to people. He would arrive at a dinner party for cocktails, leaving just as everyone else sat down. He made his living publishing Palm Beach Society, a celebratory take on the island. He understood that and knew precisely how to project the image of a magical Palm Beach to his desired audience. Then there was a second Jim Sheeran, an acerbic critic of the island with devastating portrayals of some of Palm Beach’s leading citizens. He knew everything and everyone and he was judge and jury. He could be merciless, doubly so since he knew not a word of his feelings would filter their way into his magazine. Behind that was a third Jim Sheeran, who loved Palm Beach as deeply as anyone I’ve ever met. He loved not the fantasy but what was deepest and true. He knew those who proffered false public charity simply to see their names in print, and he knew those who were generally philanthropic. He knew those who were mean spirited and those who were deeply kind. He despised all that was cruel and petty and he cared for what was beautiful and meaningful.
I could see that he was sick, and when he said that he had something important to tell me I knew what it was. He asked me not to tell anyone. He was a tough former Marine, and he wanted to handle this toughest of battles in his own way without too many goodbyes. I kept thinking what I could do that would have some meaning to him. I decided that I would dedicate my Palm Beach book to him. He said he did not think he merited such an honor. He got it wrong. The real question is whether my book will be good enough to merit being dedicated to Jim.
As the days and months go by it will become even clearer that with Jim’s death something has gone out of Palm Beach.
— LAURENCE LEAMER
“On behalf of the March of Dimes and the Glitz committee, I would like to express our heartfelt condolences on the loss of James Sheeran. James was a truly wonderful man who supported our mission and our events for over 17 years. His wit, energy, and thoughtfulness will be missed by all who knew and loved him.”
— SHANNA ST. JOHN, MARCH OF DIMES
“It was with great shock and sadness that I learned of Jim’s passing yesterday. Jim was the quintessential gentleman, with great talent, style and class. A real and wonderful friend, he was always kind, thoughtful and wise. Jim leaves a large void in our community and will be sorely missed.
At this very difficult time, my heart goes out to his four daughters and their families, as well as to everyone at ‘The Palm Beach Society Magazine’, who was lucky enough to have worked with him over these past 22 years. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
— HILLIE MAHONEY
“James J, or James Jennings as I called him or sometimes to his devoted staff, “is Himself in?” was a friend, a true friend, we bonded at he Colony, introduced by a mutual friend, my first season seven years ago. James J was a gentleman of the old school and represented everything for which it stood. Tagore, the Indian poet, wrote, “death is not the extinguishing of the light, rather it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” This can be a great comfort in our sorrow even though I shall miss his presents greatly.”
— NEIL HOLLAND DUNCAN
“James Jennings Sheeran was an extraordinarily dignified presence in society. We at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute were deeply saddened to learn of his passing and will always be indebted to Jim for his counsel, support, and most of all his professionalism. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family and those closest to him. Jim’s knowledge and love of Palm Beach’s philanthropic culture shone through the ‘Palm Beach Society,’ leaving a legacy of benevolence. He was a “class act” in every way and will be dearly missed.”
— BASCOM PALMER EYE INSTITUTE
“It was my good fortune to have known Jim Sheeran since he took over the ‘Palm Beach Pictorial’ many years ago and to have worked with him on event coverage for over 15 years. He was the perfect gentleman in all situations while still maintaining his wonderful sense of humor. Jim was enormously generous in his support of many local, national and international charities and always provided the best coverage of personalities and events on the Palm Beach social scene. He will be missed by all who knew and worked with him.”
— BARBARA MCMIILLIN, KIDSANCTUARY
“JJS: An admired journalist and true Spirit of Palm Beach. You showed us all that to ‘conquer’ this land of plentty is to have ‘Wit and Wisdom.’ It has been an honor to have you worked with you all these years. And I never minded when you ended meetings with ‘Ok little girl!’. Thank you for your generosity and straightforward style. You will forever be remembered as the consummate gentleman.”
— PATTI SANS, VICE PRESIDENT,
MERRILL LYNCH PRIVATE CLIENT GROUP
“Palm Beach has truly lost a renaissance man with the passing of Jim Sheeran. I had the privilege of knowing Jim since 1991. He had a great sense of humor and wit which came out not only on a one on one basis, but in his writings plus he was dressed to the nine’s. Palm Beach was a better place because of Jim Sheeran and he will be missed.”
— HAROLD F. CORRIGAN
“I want to tribute my success both professionally and spiritually to a man I had great admiration for. I heard this morning from a friend in Palm Beach, which is why I am calling you from my farm in Virginia.”
— RON VIEJO
“It was an honor and a pleasure to have known Jim Sheeran. His wisdom and wit never failed to amuse and delight me. He was one of the few people who called me “Ruthie.” He loved ‘Ruth’s Little Black Book’ and was always asking “when is the next issue?” He always had a kind word for every one, his sincere and genuine love for Palm Beach showed in all he did. He will be missed. The Colony and I lost a true friend.”
— RUTH YOUNG
Our mortal earth has lost a gem, never to be duplicated. This is my most painful expression of sympathy. What can I say about James Jennings Sheeran in wriung that I never had the chance to say to him in life?
James Jennings Sheeran was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. His pen was an instrument of a brilliant, creative essay. His unique style spouted words of wisdom, and it was those encouraging words which inspired me to continue my endeavors. Jim was born with unusual talents because he was able to speak volumes in very few words. His well known trademark of intelligent simplicity touched the souls of many people. Throughout his life, he possessed the gift of expressions that could put pictures in your mind. His published opinions touched on his ability to understand human nature and to further positive causes in the community. Jim searched for the best in everyone and in everything which said vital volumes, and with his eloquence he touched the souls of many people with his innate spirit. Jim would wield his pen as a sword that would always defend, but never stab. The ever present creative fire which burned within him gave off a glow of intelligence and kindness that could only warm your heart.
His sense of humor quietly crept into his pages, but the underground facts were informative messages only he could know. His lavish gratitude expressed his caring of serious causes which inspired many more gifts extended to the needy.
Jim had fun playing with words, knowing they would come out just the way he wished. This creative talent was like a checkerboard that worked as a game of words, which he could move around, benefiting his readers with laughter, fun, knowledge and inspiration for the giving.
Jim opened the windows of charity and compassion for the needy and appreciation for those who felt the will to give. Jim was a vehicle of remembering the generosity of those who passed on from this mortal world and inspired gratitude in those who are with us. His mind was a library of words expressed in a fashion, which only his talent could offer.
Jim recently tried to encapsulate my lifelong work in just three words, Lady, Leader, Legend. This generous and simplistic honor is one that I promise to live up to in his memory. Thank you Jim, for being you!
— GERTRUDE MAXWELL
“Jim was in my life for almost 40 years. Always a faithful friend and advisor. I hope that I was to him as well.”
— ANNE AKERS
“The Kravis Center will miss our dear friend, Jim Sheeran. Always an arts supporter and always a professional, he was the quintessential Palm Beach gentleman. His passing leaves a void in our community that cannot be filled.”
— ILENE ARONS, RAYMOND F. KRAVIS CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
“Jim Sheeran was more than a ‘regular’ at The Colony. We considered him one of our family. A true Palm Beach gentleman and a master of the language.”
— ROGER EVERINGHAM, THE COLONY
— Vita Celebratio Est!
“Jim Sheeran ran was a man of enormous style and grace. His loyalty was steadfast. His compassion unmatched. He brought such remarkable insight to each encounter. To have known Jim was indeed a privilege for us. We will miss him dearly.”
— JOYCE AND DUSTY SANG
“Jim will be missed by all those of us whose lives he touched, yet to some of us he was more than a friend, he was a mentor. Jim offered me his unconditional support during the onset of my business, including the launch of my publication 95 EAST. Jim was noble, forthright and selfless in his advice. I will always remember him for the gentleman he was. All of us at Altima will miss him dearly.”
— MARIBEL ALVAREZ, ALTIMA INTERNATIONAL, INC.
“A hole will be left in the soul of Palm Beach with the recent loss of James Jennings Sheeran — a very forceful, fun personality. His passing comes a shock to those who knew him, he meant a great deal to the Palm Beach community as he was an advisor, friend and confident to many. I am so happy that I was able to know him and work with him and now we are all sad he is no longer with us. You will never be forgotten Jim along with your witty stories and your energetic outlook on life. Bon vivant!”
— KIPPER LANCE, NORTON MUSEUM
“We will truly miss Jim. He was a great friend to the community and to us. We really enjoyed working with him on a daily basis and hope that his legacy is continued on in Palm Beach Society.”
— THE STAFF OF LUCIEN CAPEHART PHOTOGRAPHY
“Jim was a unique man, a true gentleman to me always, and a person whom I admired and respected.”
— RICHARD SYNDER,
THE CHESTERFIELD HOTEL
“He was one of the nicest and the most gentle person I know. He was well loved and respected on the Avenue and we all shall miss him. Our deepest sympathy to his family and close friends.”