COLUMBIANA - James R. "Jim" Golladay, passed peacefully Monday morning with his wife by his side.
Jim was born Sept. 21, 1944, in Steubenville, the son of Robert and Thiery (Lodge) Golladay. He was a 1962 graduate of Cambridge High School.
Jim was a tremendous person to all—furry friends and humankind alike. If you were fortunate to have met him, you’d have adored him immediately...he was just that kind of person. Upon meeting him, you did not go from stranger to friend. In his eyes, you went from stranger to family.
Jim’s career was long and successful. He had the entrepreneurial spirit and believed fully in the free market. He partnered with his father at the Rogers Mill in Rogers, Ohio right after high school and grew the business to overcapacity, leading to the founding of his greatest success, Ohio Pet Foods, in 1978.
Jim ran the day-to-day operations, drove the delivery truck and continued to grow the business with his partners, his father Robert Golladay and cousin Fred Schuller. Jim became the sole owner of Ohio Pet Foods after his father’s passing in 1990 and the buyout of his cousin in 1997.
Jim grew the co-manufacturing business into the international markets, traveling with a USDA sponsored trade mission in the middle nineties and to this day his legacy company sells products in over 30 countries around the world. He welcomed his children into the business and oversaw the purchase of his largest branded customer, Blackwood Pet Food in 2011, and a competitor, Southern Tier Pet Nutrition, in 2012.
He always enjoyed himself while working, but truly began living his best life in 2016 when he sold a majority share of the combined companies to a private equity firm and bought a townhome on Siesta Key. This allowed for even more time with his many cherished friends—much of which spent enjoying the golf course together. He continued to consult for his company as he traveled to car shows and auctions, building his car collection. He recently attended the Barret-Jackson auction and came home with more cars than his wife Gloria could understand. Never one to miss out on a bargain; “They were great deals” he told Gloria.
In addition to his professional achievements— “Dad”/”Papa” never missed attending Cardinal Mooney football games, track meets, family birthday dinners, or theatre productions of his children and grandchildren alike. Whether the team was defeated, the grandchild’s theatre role placed them in the very back of the stage, or a playoff victory was achieved, Dad/Papa beamed with pride regardless. He always ensured his children and grandchildren felt the pride he had in them, too.
Beyond this, he is notably known for thanking the recipient after giving a gift. Be it a shared breakfast, a trip to the family home in Florida, or simply a gifted bag of dog food, upon being thanked, Jim always responded, “Thank YOU.” Nothing brought him deeper joy than bringing others joy.
Jim is survived by his wife, Gloria (Williams) Golladay, who he married May 20, 1967; daughter, Angela Crossen of Boardman; two sons, Matthew (Michelle) Golladay of Poland and Travis (Nicole) Golladay of Columbiana; sisters, Kay Morrison of Lisbon, Mary Ann (Larry) Larson of Maine and Ruth Golladay of Mentor; seven grandchildren, Courtney (David) Lawson, Haley (John) Richley, Kelsey (Luke) Pfleiderer, Christopher Anderson, Sean Hennessey, Mason Golladay and Laurel Mook; and two great-grandchildren, Lena Richley and James Pfleiderer.
He was preceded in death by his parents, infant sister, Susan Jane, and beloved Beagles, Boomer & Tootsie.
Family and friends may call Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Friday from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Higgins- Reardon Funeral Homes, Poland Chapel.
A funeral service will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that material tributes take the form of donations to the Jim Golladay Scholarship Fund at Cardinal Mooney High School, 2545 Erie St. Youngstown, OH 44507, or to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516.
Visit www.higgins-reardon.com to send condolences to the family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James "Jim" Golladay, please visit our floral store.