Hundreds of students from Beverly Park Elementary school filled the streets outside the school Friday to honor a man who volunteered his time to help them.
Hundreds of students lined the streets to honor James Vert
James Vert passed away last Saturday. Funerals services were held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.
by Chris Carlson
Bigger than life, louder than most, James Vert touched a lot of lives in his 82 years. He joined the Air Force in 1949 at 17, giving 3-1/2 years to his country. While still in his teens he married Maria Teresa Rechichi and their family grew to include 6 children. James worked by his father’s side at Nettleton Timber and then for many years as a tire serviceman at Sam’s Tire. During his working years he was a tireless giver. He volunteered with St. Vincent de Paul bringing help and comfort to others. He taught religious education. He belonged to a prison ministry. And many nights found him tearing apart the old Lourdes school buses, trying to get them running for school the next day. In retirement he and Maria donated hams and made 325 ham sandwiches every month for the St. Martin de Porres Shelter. Every school day for the last 16 years he volunteered as a classroom helper at Boulevard Park School. He was awarded the Highline School District Volunteer of the Year Award. He had lunch with 3 different children every day, passing out pencils and candy along with his advice and witticisms. All the while he gave his own children the greatest gift: he loved their mom.
To honor James the family asks that everyone who knew him, loved him or cared about him think about passing on some of his kindness. Donate time or money to a shelter, read to kids or the elderly, put money in one of those cups for charity at the check stand. When you are at the grocery store and they ask if you want to round up your bill to support a charity, say “YES! Of course I do!” Smile at the homeless and invite them for a meal. Go to your local volunteer bank and see what you can do. Give a kid a buck for candy he’s eyeing in the grocery store. Pay somebody’s tab. Give someone a compliment. And pray for the folks who really annoy you – and mean it. James will smile.
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