Our precious father, Jim Cariddi, 88, Lee's Summit, MO, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Friday, July 15, 2016, at St. Luke's Hospital due to complications of a stroke.
Services will be held at St. Mark's Catholic Church, 3736 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence, MO 64055. The Rosary will be prayed at 1:30 p.m. followed by Visitation from 2-8 p.m. on Thursday, July 21. The Mass of the Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Friday, July 22, with entombment to follow at Mount Olivet Mausoleum.
Jim was born October 4, 1927, to Giuseppe and Gracia Cariddi. He attended Garfield Elementary and Northeast High School graduating in 1944. He served in the United States Navy as an Aviation Cadet at Cornell University, received his B.A. in Mathematics from Park College in 1949, and his Master of Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1951. James, "Mr. Cariddi", began his long and productive career of 35 years as a Mathematics teacher at Northeast High School 1951-1970, Assistant Principal at Northeast High School 1970-1982, Principal at Northeast Junior High School 1982-84, and Assistant Principal at Van Horn High School 1984-86. Upon retirement he served as Alumni Director at Park University 1986-89, and Mathematics Professor at Longview College 1990-2010. Most recently, at the age of 88, you could find Jim smiling and serving customers on the front end of Hy-Vee Grocery Store.
Jim was a born educator. He loved learning and loved helping others to learn. He loved each and every one of his students. His forever love, after his wife and family, was Northeast High School, his community, and Park University. He was so proud to have been a Golden Tiger at the Northeast Community Center where his life-changing mentors, Dr. Bisceglia and Frank Procopio, were responsible for giving him the opportunity to attend college.
Jim was very active in the community as evidenced by his participation in many organizations including the Kansas City School Administrators Association, Schoolmasters Club, Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity, UNICO, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, American Sons of Columbus, American Legion, St. Mark's Catholic Church and Choir, Kansas City Museum Trustee and Board of Governors, Northeast Community Center Board of Directors, Boy Scouts of America Lone Star District Chairman, National and Missouri Associations of Secondary School Principals, Northeast High School Alumni Association, University of Missouri Alumni Association, Park College Alumni Association Past-President, and countless other groups and organizations. As a Boy Scout in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say Jimmy reached the rank of Eagle Scout earning 52 merit badges and 3 palms. He was part of the Gumba’s, who sang Italian love songs.
Even though he was only 5'7" there was nothing small about Jim Cariddi. He never knew a stranger and never had an enemy. He started every conversation with "So, where'd YOU go to school?" A child of the Depression, he learned to be very resourceful and could fix anything. He loved his toothpick! Jim really loved the game of golf (three holes-in-one), music, his girls, Sudoku, whistling calls without his fingers, coupons, and the Royals. He once sent back a letter that his daughter wrote home from college corrected with a red pen! He was known for the toot-toot of his horn as he passed you or left to say goodbye in his car with his MZZZZU license plate. Jim passed away at 4:55 p.m., just in time for him and Mae to catch the “Early Bird Special”.
Jim was preceded in death one year ago by his loving wife Mae of 63 years; his parents; sister and brother-in-law, Anna and George Lomonte; sisters Lena and Mamie; and son-in-law Joseph H. Wickey.
Survivors include his daughters and sons-in law, Grace Ann and Frank Ancona, Ginna Terrill, Joette and Steve Brownrigg, Anna Marie Mathenia and former son-in-law Kelly Mathenia; grandchildren, Philip, Ginna (Diego), Alissa, Maegan (Kyle), Christy (G), Jimmy, Nicholas, Andrea, Sicily, Valentino, Remy; 14 great-grandchildren; great-niece Lisa Alexander; and many other nieces, nephews and godchildren.
Special thanks to the medical staff and chaplains of St. Luke’s Hospital for their compassionate care of our loving father.
In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to the Jim & Mae Cariddi Endowed Scholarship Fund for Students of Italian Heritage at Park University.
Pallbearers: Philip Ancona, Jimmy Witkowski, Nicholas Brownrigg, Valentino Mathenia, Remy Mathenia, Gerald White, Diego Gutierrez, Kyle Spencer.
Honorary Pallbearers: Shawn Bolten, Douglas Giese, Frank Ancona, Steve Brownrigg.