James Dewey ZINN

June 13, 1964October 14, 2020

James Dewey Zinn passed away October 14, 2020, at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, at the age of 56. Jim was born June 13, 1964, in Santa Monica, California, son of Darrell Zinn and Joyce Ley Zinn. He spent his early years in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and later childhood and adolescence in Davis, California, where he attended the University of California at Davis. After college, Jim spent three years in the Peace Corps in The Gambia, West Africa. During these formative years he worked in forestry and chimpanzee rehabilitation and made lifelong friends. Jim moved to Washington, DC, in 1996 where he and Francesca (Frankie) Thompson married in 2002 and where their daughter, Sophia Joyce Zinn, was born in 2004. Jim worked in many areas over the years, from farming to social work, all of which reflected his love of being outdoors, helping people, and living life with creativity and independence. Most recently, Jim ran a handyman business on Capitol Hill where his dependability and skill earned him not only the loyalty, but often the friendship, of his customers. Jim, Frankie, and Sophia had countless adventures together over the years, most notably pulling Sophia out of 7th grade to spend a year sailing to the Caribbean. Wherever Jim went, people were drawn to his kindness, story-telling, humor, generosity, and unique perspective on life. He always had a dog by his side and his capacity for love and nurturing was never more evident than with his dogs. Jim is survived by his wife and daughter and will be missed by many beloved friends.



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Ellen Boomer

November 23, 2020

Jim was a skilled handyman and had such a warm, kind soul. I loved seeing him on his Xtracycle around the Hill and always enjoyed chatting with him. His work improved my house and his company always lifted my spirits. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

Ellen Boomer

Laura Salmon

November 2, 2020

Not only was Jim the best handyman I have known, but he was a terrific person. I was so impressed when he took the year to live his dream of sailing in the Caribbean with his family. My deepest condolences to his family.

Dominique Laura Freire

October 23, 2020

I knew Jim both socially (and then professionally when we were searching for the best handyman on the Hill.)
I remember him proudly showing us around his houseboat In DC and regaling us with humorous stories.
I remember Jim talking about vulnerable communities and the importance of service with passion and dedication.
I remember thinking “this is one of the good guys”.

Rest well, Jim, you will be sorely missed.

Tom Ley

October 22, 2020

When Jimmy lived in Green Bay with his mother Joyce, (my aunt)I would occasionally babysit young Jimmy. He was the most well behaved kid I had ever been around.

Marianne Ley Hayek

October 22, 2020

Jim and I were cousins and really got to know each other in Davis. He was absolutely amazing: lover of life, generous and so funny!
My heart goes out to Frankie and Sophia. I will miss him.



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