James Chester Kirkwood, 81, of Lewis Center OH, passed away on November 15th, 2023. He was born in Cleveland OH on February 15, 1942 to Walter and Anne Kirkwood. Jim graduated from North Olmsted High School in 1960, his favorite subject was auto shop. After graduating, he worked as a mechanic and in construction before joining the US Navy in 1964. He served proudly in the Philippines as a Machinist Mate and left the Navy in 1966 as a Petty Officer 3rd class. On December 18th, 1966 he was involved in an auto accident in Cleveland OH that left him paralyzed. After two years of therapy and with his limitless determination, he managed to walk again. Once he had recovered, he went to work for Jack Boss and Sons in 1969 and found his true calling, pumping concrete.
In 1971 he moved to Columbus OH taking a job running a P40 concrete pump. The same year, he bought that company and renamed it State-Wide Concrete Pumping. The rest is history. Jim was the President and CEO of State-Wide for over 50 years having built it into the successful company it is today. Over the years State-Wide has pumped concrete for many of the bridges and buildings in and around Columbus including projects at OSU hospitals, the new Columbus Crew Soccer Stadium and The Ohio State University.
Jim was a passionate Buckeye fan having attended many football games at OSU Stadium with like-minded friends over the years. His favorite drink was Beringer White Zinfandel with a side cup of ice, perfect for all those tailgate parties. Jim enjoyed eating out and frequented many fine restaurants over the years. In fact, once Jim found a place that he liked, he would eat lunch there 4-5 days per week at the same table. Restaurants like Engine House #5, The Clairmont, Columbus Brewing Company, Fisherman’s Warf and others were some of his favorites.
Family was everything to Jim, and he considered his employees at State-Wide like family as well. Jim was a great friend to many people; he always had a ready smile and interesting story to tell. A very generous person, he was forever ready to help those who would help themselves.
Jim is survived by his nephew Jim Truchon (Tracy), niece Traci Sabota (Jon) and many other nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial service will be held at Schoedinger Worthington on December 15th 2023 at 1:00pm with gathering hours immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to:
Delaware County Foundation
110 Riverbend Avenue, Ste 101
Powell, OH 43065
Delaware County Foundation 110 Riverbend Avenue, Ste 101 , Powell, Ohio 43065