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Obituaries » James Coconas

James Coconas

August 15, 2017

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COCONAS, James Gregory (Jim) 72, of Sebastopol, CA passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, surrounded by love. Dearest husband of Lorene (Smith), cherished father of Melissa (Jeremy) Cade, Bethany Coconas (Mark) and beloved Papouli (grandfather) of Alex, Kelci and Kaci. He was a loving brother to Cynthia Coconas, son of Gregory James (Charles) Coconas and Catherine (Thanos) Coconas (both deceased). His family nickname was Sonny. Jim is also survived by many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins. Jim grew up in Chicago, IL. He was proud of his heritage and loved his large Greek family and community. He approached life with joy and humor. He had energy and the ability to focus on important things: family, friends, faith, community and work. Early on Jim showed an affinity for forming lasting friendships and making new ones. He graduated from Mather High School in Chicago and Northwestern University in Evanston. During his senior year, he met Lorene who became his wife of 49 years. For six years, Jim had a real estate sales and property management company. Lorene worked with him. Next he worked for Kenroy, Inc., a real estate sales, development and property management company in Skokie, IL. He became a partner, managing high rise office buildings, golf courses and regional shopping centers. They moved to Lake Forest, IL and became the proud parents of two daughters, Melissa and Bethany. The family moved west to California in 1984, first settling in Jackson, then Sebastopol in 1985. One of Jim’s greatest joys was designing and building a home where they lived for 23 years before moving into town. There he found the pleasure of walking and chatting with everyone he met. Some of his fondest community involvements were with TLC Children’s Services, where he helped develop the school campus and group homes for the agency, the Sebastopol Senior Center on whose board Jim served for many years, also chaperoning dances sponsored by Becoming Independent. He and his wife, Lorene, also supported numerous local, cultural, and educational entities. Jim became the proud Papouli of Alex in 2008 and was a popular helper in his classroom from kindergarten through third grade. Everyone called him Papouli. In 2015 twin granddaughters Kelci, and Kaci were born. He enjoyed spending time with all three grandchildren. Jim took exceptional care of his family, and helped many in the larger community achieve their dreams as well. Jim received gratefully and gave quietly; was gentle enough to feel, yet strong enough to share his feelings. He knew how to brighten others’ days with smiles, kind words and gave freely of himself. Jim was slow to see the faults of others, yet quick to see their goodness; was cheerful in difficult times, yet modest in success. His life was a blessing, and his memory a treasure.