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James Ellis Hall

September 10, 1939 ~ January 23, 2024 (age 84) 84 Years Old

James Hall Obituary

Rock Creek - James Ellis “Jim” Hall, age 84, passed away peacefully at his home on January 23, 3024 surrounded by family after a battle with Leukemia. James was born September 10, 1939 in Bevinsville, in his beloved home state of Kentucky to parents Alpha (Johnson) and Marion Hall. His stepfather, Garfield Burke, was a great influence on his life and James was part of a large, blended family with siblings: Joan Becker, Joyce Ann (Steve) Jensen, Raymond (Jerri Ann) Hall, Joyce Allen, Roger (Dena) Burke, Ronnie Burke, late brothers Curtis and Omer Hall, late sisters Becky Little, Joan Hall, and Deloris Johnson. James met the love of his life, Betty Y. (née Vance) in Ashtabula Ohio in 1957. The two lovebirds married November 1, 1958 and had three children. James and Betty came from big families and enjoyed hosting their siblings, cousins, and nieces and nephews for card games, food, and an all-around good time. He and Betty owned and operated the Combo, a local restaurant and game room for years where they became second parents to many neighborhood kids. Those who were blessed to know James admired his outgoing nature, quick wit, infectious smile and big hugs—and those who knew him well even loved his stubbornness. Despite all of this, James may most be remembered for his world-famous fudge. A union man, James worked for General Motors for 33 years before retiring to assume the role of full-time Papa. He was a doting grandfather to his three grandchildren Kaitlyn, Emily (Chris), and Chloe Forristal and loved to spoil them with his famous “big breakfasts” and crafting bunk beds for their respective cats. James was also an accomplished civil servant. He was a member of Rock Creek Village Council for 16 years, served on various committees and as Zoning Inspector, and was always there to help a neighbor in need. His love for Rock Creek was shared with his daughter, Pam, who serves the Village in various roles as well. James was recognized as Citizen of the Year in 2010 for his dedication to the town and its people. Jim went out of his way to attend many local events and celebrations, but you could always find him among friends at the Pasta Oven. James is preceded in death by his Queen, Betty, son James Timothy, honorary son Joe Beckwith, and cherished nephews Ronnie Dean Cole and Michael Cole. He is survived by children Danny Ray Hall and Pam (Joe) Forristal, granddaughters, beloved nieces and nephews, and the many, many family friends who knew him as Papa, Podie, or Father.

Visitation will take place at the Paine Funeral Home Inc.,140 East Main Street, Orwell Ohio 44076 on Monday, January 29, 2024 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 pm. A Funeral service officiated by Rev. Keith Peachey will be at the funeral home on Tuesday, January 30, 2024 at 12:00 p.m. A committal service will follow at the Union Cemetery in Rock Creek.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Village of Rock Creek for the Park Fund or Hospice of the Western Reserve. Condolences may be made at


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January 29, 2024

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Paine Funeral Home
140 E Main Street
Orwell, OH 44076

Funeral Service
January 30, 2024

12:00 PM
Paine Funeral Home
140 E Main Street
Orwell, OH 44076


Village of Rock Creek (Park Fund)
P.O. Box 92, Rock Creek OH 44084

Hospice of the Western Reserve
1166 Lake Ave, Ashtabula OH 44004


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