Baldwin-Fairchild Ivanhoe Funeral Home

1150 South Orlando Avenue, Winter Park, FL


James Lee Mears

April 26, 1949January 4, 2020

James (Jimbo) Lee Mears, 70, of Orlando, Florida, passed away Saturday, January 4, 2020, after battling a long illness. He is free from pain and in the arms of Jesus.

Jimbo grew up in southeast Orlando, graduating from Boone High School in 1968. Throughout his youth, Jimbo developed close friendships that lasted a lifetime. Jimbo was fiercely loyal to his friends and, no matter their divergent paths, they were always able to count on one another no matter the price. Jimbo had a profound effect on the lives of many people, providing council and generosity to those in need. He was guided by his uncompromising faith which he shared as often as possible with those around him. Jimbo humbly offered wisdom that was wrought from his eclectic and often difficult life experiences. He was active for many years in The Gathering of Men ministry as well as helped sponsor others in Alcoholics Anonymous and the Stephen Ministries. The number of people whose lives he touched through these ministries and through one-on- one compassion makes his legacy impossible to quantify. While Jimbo worked many jobs in his life, he found most pride in working at his family’s business, Mears Transportation Group. He viewed his role at the company a tremendous honor and felt a moral obligation to represent his father’s business with honesty and respect.

Jimbo was known for his unique sense of humor, his amazing story-telling ability, and his unusual gift-giving. For almost every holiday or occasion, he gave friends and family a new pocket knife or flashlight, and believed “if you take good care of your knife, it will take good care of you.” It is often said, Jimbo’s personality was truly “one-of-a-kind” and defies description. However, if he had to be summarized in three words, they would be compassionate, principled and faithful.

Though he was a friend to many and did many things over his life, his favorite title - and the way we knew him was “Dad”. Dad was very active in our lives, helping coach sports, and spending hours with us passing down a lifelong love for fitness and the outdoors. Nothing in the world came close to how proud he was to be a father. He would often say he loved his sons “as much as any daddy could love a little boy.”

He enjoyed hunting and, in his later years, just sitting and watching nature at his property on the St. John’s River. Even after his health began to decline, we shared many a conversation revolved around weightlifting, faith, and nostalgic memories of his youth. His grace and faith in the midst of his declining health was inspiring. He spent time studying his Bible with a similar or greater discipline and intensity as he had spent in the gym during his younger years, and though his body weakened, he was strengthened spiritually.

He will be a deeply missed by his family and friends. Jimbo is survived by his brothers, Paul Jr. [Deb] and Jon [Tammy], his sons, Michael [Jessica] and Cole [Rebekah], and his grandchildren, Mason, Ella, Michael, and James.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 11 am at the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando. Reception to follow


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, January 11, 2020


James Lee Mears

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