Mahoning Valley community leader, industrialist, philanthropist C. Gilbert James Jr. dies at 93

Staff report


C. Gilbert “Gib” James Jr., a community leader in education, arts, philanthropy, historic preservation, the Canfield Fair and other causes, has died at 93.

He died peacefully at home on Friday.

He was in business his whole life with his brother, William T. James II, and

they built and operated James & Sons Insurance Co. for more than 70

years. He also helped to build Forge Industries.

Gib James was an ardent supporter of the community and many organizations,

including service as a trustee and volunteer for the Butler Institute of

American Art, the Mahoning County Agricultural Society (Canfield Fair), the

Rayen Foundation, the Swanston Foundation, the Buechner Foundation, the

Youngstown Foundation, the Youngstown Playhouse, the Youngstown-Warren

Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Arms Museum and the Mahoning Valley

Historical Society, the Boys & Girls Club of Youngstown, the Children’s

Service Board, the International Foundation, the Youngstown Board of Trade,

the YWCA, the Air Reserve Base Community Council, the Youngstown and

Mahoning County Public Library, the Museum of Labor and Industry (Youngstown

Steel Museum), SMARTS and Oak Hill Cemetery.

He also served on the Stambaugh Stadium Fund Drive for Youngstown State

University, the YSU International Student Center and the YSU Philosophy


In 2015, The Vindicator hailed Mr. James' accomplishments in an editorial. "Collectively, James’ contributions to the betterment of the Mahoning Valley propels him prominently onto the short list of this region’s most influential movers, shakers and benefactors," it said.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Patrick's Church in Youngstown

on Friday 11 a.m., celebrated by the Rev. Edward P. Noga.

Friends may call at the Fox Funeral Home, 4700 Market St. in Boardman, on

Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m.

Material contributions may be made to the Butler Institute of American Art,

524 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44505.

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.