DAY, James Norbert “Jim”, age 92, of Dayton, OH passed away peacefully Friday, September 18, 2020. Jim was born on February 8, 1928 to George and Martha (Keifer) Day. Jim was 15 when he met the love of his life and future wife of almost 70 years, Elaine (Huellemeier) Day. They married in 1951 and shortly after, the Army shipped Jim to Germany during the Korean War.
After serving in the army, Jim returned to Cincinnati to work in a family concrete business and shortly thereafter he started Day Precision Wall, Inc. An entrepreneur at heart, Jim was involved in many land development and business enterprises. In 1976, he and three partners embarked on entirely new careers in the candy manufacturing/retail business through the purchase of the iconic and much revered Esther Price Candies, Corporation. He quickly acclimated to the candy business and was dedicated to building it, regularly working 6 days a week. Employees loved the “candy man” and Jim treated them as extended family members. In 2016, Jim was honored to be inducted into the prestigious Candy Hall of Fame. After opening the Esther Price store in West Chester, the West Chester Liberty Chamber Alliance bestowed upon Jim the coveted “Everest Award” which honors leaders and legends who have helped shape the I-75 Growth Corridor. In 2018, Jim was also a finalist in the Goering Center’s family and private business award for companies with 76+ employees.
Jim was a 1947 graduate of Elder high school and loved to wear his purple sport coat to show his allegiance to his alma mater. In 2013, Elder honored Jim with their highest award called “Altiora” which is a Latin word that means “strives for the higher things.” Jim was a staunch supporter of Catholic education and supported many of the Catholic schools in both Cincinnati and Dayton with scholarship funds. He was also a notorious bidder at many of the Catholic high school fundraiser auctions!
Jim loved to travel with Elaine to the RCI (Retail Confectioners International) conventions, both domestically and abroad, and they met good friends during their involvement with this organization. Family was of utmost importance to both Jim and Elaine and they typically planned one large family vacation each year for the family to relax and have fun together, often to Hilton Head Island, as well as to Jim’s favorite place, Disney World. In fact he celebrated his 90th birthday with Mickey Mouse, who also turned 90 the same year, in Disney World in 2018! He had a blast!
Jim was an avid collector and restorer of antique cars and his favorite was his 1936 Ford, which was the car he owned when he was dating Elaine. Jim also loved photography and found great pleasure in making copies of photographs and giving them to folks in the photos.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, George “Bud” Day. He is survived by his lovely and devoted wife of 69 years, Elaine; his three daughters, Sandra (Bruce) Brielmaier, Sharon (Dennis) McManus, and Barbara (Douglas) Dressman; eight grandchildren, Kelly (James) Schreck, Matthew (Amanda) Brielmaier, Gary (Amanda) Dressman, Bryan Dressman, Tracy (Joe) Knueven, Christen (Francisco) Castro, Lauren (Ben) King, and Kevin McManus; and 18 great grandchildren.
Due to COVID-19, only a private family service is being held. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Hospice of Dayton, 324 Wilmington Ave, Dayton, Ohio 45420; The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), Ohio River Valley Region 4370 Glendale-Milford Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45242; or Ohio Valley Voices 6642 Branch Hill-Guinea Pike, Loveland, Ohio 45140. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.routsong.com.