James “Jim” O. Rawcliffe was born on November 8, 1930 in Lancaster, England and died on Sunday, October 17, 2021 at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. He was the second child of Brigadier James M. Rawcliffe, OBE, MC “The Bridge” prior to her training as a translator and interpreter.
After leaving the infantry, he went to the London office on KPMG. During his time there he was married. For leisure reasons he became chairman of the Debating Club of the Linguists Society at the London English Speakers Union. He continued his studies and became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Jim left KPMG to become Secretary / Accountant of Flour Millers, McDougalls which became part of RHM (Ranks Hovis McDougall Ltd.) and became Secretary / Accountant of the Food Department and then became General Manager of Management and Central Accounting of the Group Center .
He was then appointed Finance Director of the Group’s Overseas Division, with subsidiaries in around 20 companies on six continents. There he was responsible for purchasing other companies in Denmark, Canada and the USA. He was next named CEO of the group’s finance house, Wessex Finance Corporation. He then completed the International Senior Management Program at Harvard Business School, ISMP 13, in Vevey, Switzerland and was class secretary until his death.
Upon completion of the program, he was appointed finance director of the group’s food division, with additional responsibility for running the group’s companies in Denmark and Sweden.
During this time he was elected to the City Council of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. After the merger of the councils of Windsor & Maidenhead and over 30 villages, he became chairman of their Estates Committee. He instituted an industrial expansion program and after moving to the United States, the council named one of the new buildings after him.
He also became chairman of the PTA of his three daughters’ Convent School (K through 12) and later a committee that was formed to buy the school from and the Order of Nuns. Upon completion of the acquisition, he became chairman of the trustees and governors. He was also chairman of the parish committee of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Joseph.
Other interests included membership in the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club), where his name can be seen on the boards, and the Friends of Glyndebourne Opera Company.
Jim was then transferred to Fredonia’s Red Wing Company as Executive Vice President. After four years he was appointed Finance Vice President of RHM (USA) based in Chicago. There he was responsible for the acquisition of companies in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois and California and taught strategic planning.
After his retirement he volunteered for the International Executive Service Corps. With several assignments in Bulgaria (Pazardjic, Plovdiv and Sliven); and Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He also accepted an assignment from US Aid in Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt to interview the CEOs of 28 companies to create a training plan.
During his retirement he was a member of the ACBL (American Contract Bridge League) and became Lifemaster and played at the Cheese Club in Dunkirk / Fredonia. He was the director of the Adams Art Gallery and the Northern Chautau-qua Community Foundation and a member of the Rotary Club of Dunkirk Fredonia. He has been named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International “In recognition of the concrete and significant help that has been given to promote better understanding and friendly relations among the peoples of the world.”
Visiting hours are Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the LARSON-TIMKO Funeral Home, 20 Central Ave., Fredonia. In the St. Joseph Church, 145 E. Main St. Fredonia, a Christian funeral will be celebrated on Friday morning at 10 a.m. The burial takes place in the St. Joseph Cemetery.
Commemorative donations can be made to St. Joseph Church or the Rotary Foundation (rotary.org)
Online condolences can be made at larsontimko Bestattungsheim.com.
Adaptations by David J. Dengler.