James (Jim) Genasci passed away peacefully on Feb 3, 2023 after a long and generative life. He grew up in Gault, CA the youngest of 4 children. He loved sports, and also played alto sax in a swing band in high school. His love of gymnastics in particular lead him to Springfield College in Massachusetts, where he met Jean. She was a member of the ski club, so he sold his alto sax and bought a pair of skis. They were married on December 9, 1950. Shortly thereafter, Jim departed to serve 2 years in the Korean conflict. Upon Jim's return, he and Jean resumed their studies. Over the course of a decade their emerging teaching careers took them to Gorham State Teachers College (now University of Southern Maine), Colorado State Teacher’s College (now the University of Northern Colorado), and eventually back to Springfield College. During his tenure at Springfield College, Jim served as President of the Faculty Senate, Distinguished Professor of Humanics, and as a guest Professor (Beijing and Wuhan Institutes of PE). He chaired thesis and dissertation committees, taught classes like Sport and Art, Sport in American Culture, Philosophy of Sport, and History of Sport. He organized and sometimes taught skiing, hiking and backpacking, rock climbing, and tennis.
He created and lead workshops, delivered papers, and presented research reports for several professional societies. Among his favorites were the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (AAHPER), the Philosophical Society for the Study of Sport (PSSS), and the North American Society for the Study of Sport History (NASSSH). As much as he achieved in his professional life, his family was always his highest priority. His kids knew him as a very active dad who loved to take them skiing, hiking, backpacking, and traveling around the country with their little Heilite trailer. One summer they took a 14 day oar powered raft trip in the Grand Canyon. After their son graduated high school, Jim and Jean’s international travels became more frequent. Highlights for Jim were trekking in Nepal to see Mt. Everest, a visit to Antarctica to see the glaciers and penguins, and hiking through Switzerland to search family roots.
They chose to retire in Albuquerque NM, where they continued teaching, ushering, became involved in NM politics, and joined the local fitness center. They showed up at 7am every morning for a workout, swim, hot tub, sauna, or all of the above. In 2013 Jim and Jean relocated to the Windcrest retirement community in Highlands Ranch, CO to be close to their daughter. They immediately became involved. Jim decided to extend his teaching career and led computer classes for the Windcrest audience. He eventually became President of the Resident Advisory Committee.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Jean, brother Richard, and sister Helen. He is survived by his sister Eleanor, daughter Gail, son Gary, two grandchildren and two great grandchildren. A celebration of life will be held April 23, 2023 in the Arts and Entertainment room at Windcrest, 3235 Mill Vista Road, Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80129. A reception will follow. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to PFLAG National, 1625 K Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20006.
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