In Memory of




Obituary for James "Jim" Dearing

Jim Dearing, 83, passed away peacefully Friday afternoon, December 8, 2023 in his home in Louisville, KY with his immediate family members at his bedside. Jim is survived by his wife of 58 years, Sharon Whatley, his 3 children: James Jr, Bobby (Debbie), Joan Heid (Tim), his 9 grandchildren: Samantha, John, Payton, Reece, Ruby, Gibson, Raya, Will, and Rilynn, and 3 of his siblings: John, Julie Malavet, and Frank. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, John Keller and Mary Rose Wirth, and 4 sisters: Mary Rose Bast, Barbara ‘Bobbie’ Dale, Lillian ‘Willie’ Dale, and Redempta Gwynne.

Jim was born in Louisville on March 13, 1940 and was the 7th of 8 children. Jim grew up in the Portland area of Louisville and graduated from Our Lady Catholic Grade School in 1954 and Flaget High School in 1958. As a senior All-State Tight End, Jim was awarded the “Best Lineman” of the year trophy and earned a football scholarship to the University of Kentucky. Afterward, Jim enlisted in the Marine Corps serving 4 years in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Once home, Jim joined the Louisville Fire Department and finished first in his training class. Years later, Jim ultimately retired as a top Regional Sales Representative for Pinkerton Tobacco, aka ‘Red Man’.

As a young father, Jim enjoyed tending a huge garden and coaching his sons, and many others, on ‘The Cardinals’ in the Fire Fighters Football League in SW Jefferson County. In 2013, Jim was featured as the “Miracle Man” by UofL Alumni Magazine and interviewed by local TV news for being the 1st person in the world whose heart was returned to full normal function through a 2009 revolutionary infusion procedure by harvesting his own heart specific stem cells and re-implanting them back into the damaged areas of his heart.

In retirement, Jim established a woodshop business creating a variety of household products and especially loved making items for family and friends. Throughout life, Jim always enjoyed preparing holiday and birthday dinner celebrations for his family - especially pizzas and Christmas fruit cakes. A huge life accomplishment for Jim was being a contributing member of Alcoholics Anonymous for over 50 years.

Jim, Jimmy, Dad, Grandpa, Pawpaw was so dearly loved and will be incredibly missed by his family and friends.

Visitation will be 2–8 p.m. on Thursday, December 14, 2023 at Highlands Funeral Home, 3331 Taylorsville Rd.

Jim’s Funeral Mass will begin at 10:00 a.m., Friday, December 15, 2023 at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1920 Newburg Road, followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery.