SCHARDT, James “Jim”, a remarkable man whose passion for engineering, sports cars, and family left an indelible mark on the lives he touched, passed away on October 3, 2023 at the age of 83. Born in Dayton, Ohio on September 5, 1940, and later splitting his time between Dayton and Naples, Florida, Jim led a life that embodied dedication, ingenuity, and unwavering love.
A graduate of Fairmont High School in 1958, Jim's thirst for knowledge led him to achieve a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1963. He furthered his academic pursuits with a Master's degree in Chemistry from the University of Dayton, a testament to his commitment to excellence.
Jim's journey as a Registered Professional Engineer in Ohio paved the way for a thriving career. He spent twelve years at Inland Division GMC, leaving his mark as a Quality Control and Developmental Engineer. His brilliance and ambition drove him to purchase and revive the Dayton Wire Wheel company. As the owner of Dayton Wheel Products, he manufactured wheels that became synonymous with excellence, gracing sports cars, antique cars, and lowriders alike. James's vision extended to Dayton Alloy Wheel, a company that became renowned for chrome-plating OEM wheels for prominent car manufacturers including GM, Ford and Jaguar. His influence also extended into his son’s business, Forgeline Motorsports, a venture dedicated to crafting high-performance aluminum wheels for racing and sport cars.
Jim was more than just a professional trailblazer; he was a pillar of his community. He was a member of the Southminster Presbyterian Church, a Scoutmaster for troops 516 and 216, and then a leader for an Explorer Scout troop for young adults. His affiliations with organizations such as the PI Kappa Alpha Fraternity, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and various racing clubs including a 60 years in the Sports Car Club of America, showcased his passion for camaraderie and shared interests.
A true enthusiast, Jim's heart raced not only for engineering but also for sports car racing. For an astounding 55 years, he embraced the thrill of the racetrack, leaving behind a legacy that extended beyond the finish line. His love for watersports and boating added depth to his vibrant life.
As a dedicated family man, Jim's greatest joy was his 61-year-long marriage to his beloved wife, Nancy. Their journey began in the seventh grade when they walked to school together, with Jim even serving as her newspaper boy. This deep and abiding love created a life filled with cherished memories, joy, and endless shared experiences.
James Schardt's legacy lives on in the hearts of his surviving family members, including his devoted wife Nancy, loving sister Kathy Hickman (Bill), adoring sons David (Sherri) Schardt and Steven (Nicky) Schardt, beloved grandchildren Derek (MaryClaire) Schardt, Taylor Schardt, Renee (Amer) Dallal, Sydney Schardt, and Morgen Schardt, as well as great-grandchildren Evelyn and Weston.
James Schardt's impact on those who knew him, and the fields he touched, is immeasurable. His legacy of dedication, love, and passion will continue to inspire generations to come.
Family will greet friends Friday, October 13 from 1:00pm-2:30pm at Routsong Funeral Home, 2100 E. Stroop Rd., Kettering. Funeral Services will begin at 2:30pm at the funeral home. Jim will be laid to rest in David’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in the name of Jim Schardt to the Kettering Health Cancer Center or/and Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton.