In a lifetime of work that saw him laboring in the coal mines and on the railroad and serving in the U.S. Army, Jim Sears went on to fame in entertainment and on the radio.
Sears also served as a regional representative of Black Radio Executives Magazine, spotlighting ac-complishments in the music industry in the Southeast.
The curtains came down on James Frank “Diamond Jim” Sears on Oct. 13. He died at the Miami V.A. hospital from complications of a stroke and heart attack. He was 83.
Sears was born to the late Isaac Curtis and Liza, in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., the second of three children. His sister Louise Jones still lives in North Carolina; his elder brother preceded him in death.
He attended school in the Durham area and upon graduation joined the U.S. Army, serving in the Philippines and Okinawa. Returning home, he moved to Baltimore, Md., where he met and married Margie Sears. They had five children, Alexander, who died in 1983, Linwood, Toni, Veda and Wanda.
Seas began his professional career as a radio personality on WSID radio and then as an on-air personality and account executive at WEBB, owned by "The Godfather of Soul" James Brown, where he became the station’s general manager.
He made a name for himself in the Baltimore/Washington area for helping to provide food and shelter for the less fortunate for many years.
He relocated to South Florida, where he became known along the East Coast for his contributions to the radio industry through promotions and marketing. He worked as a senior advertising executive at The Miami Times and as an advertising account manager and professional consultant at WEDR and Hot 105 radio. He was a founding member of the South East Music Conference.
He continued his outreach to the needy, helping to feed families through holiday food drives and toy drives and other activities focusing especially on the homeless.
In 1978, he married Virginia Smith and settled in the Miami Gardens area.
Sears is survived by his wife, Virginia; son, Linwood; daughters, Toni Perkins, Veda (Dale) Brogdan and Wanda Foster; stepdaughter, Debra Sherell Smith; surrogate son, Nigel Anderson; adopted daughter, Lauren Bellamy-Boykin, four grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Viewing will take place from 4 to 9 p.m. this Thursday, Oct. 20 at Royal Funeral Home, 17475 St. and NW 27th Ave. Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at First Baptist Church of Brownsville, 4600 NW 23rd Ave., Miami. Royal Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Photo: Jim Sears