On April 13, 2018 the biggest volunteer opportunity of James H. Zaharako's life was offered to him and he answered the call while surrounded by loved ones. His vibrant smile and outgoing personality lit up every room he entered and will be sorely missed by all his volunteer colleagues as well as his family.
James was born on May 21, 1963 in Bloomington, Indiana and instantly captured hearts.
Jimmy started his volunteer career at the age of nine as a score keeper for Boys Club Pee Wee basketball games in Lebanon, Indiana. He graduated in 1983 from South Dade Senior High School, where he was an active member of the chorus. In 1986, he continued his career by volunteering at Homestead Hospital. His only break came in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew. However, when Wayne Brackin called him and asked him to return to work five days a week as he (and his smile) were missed and needed, Jimmy said yes.
On October 18, 1999 the City of Homestead proclaimed it James Zaharako Day and he was presented with the key to the city, a proud moment in his remarkable life.
He was an expert Wii bowler and golfer, loved to play the slots (both on his iPad and at Hard Rock), liked to take chances on scratch off tickets, and was an avid reader. He loved his time fishing with friends and family and always enjoyed a good party. Jimmy never met a stranger, whether it was new neighbors out sunbathing in the front yard or the new person at work, he always had a welcoming smile and a warm hello for everyone.
James is survived by his mother Rita Hood (Michael), his father James Zaharako (Dorothy), his sister Deborah Williams (Thomas), and his brothers Michael Zaharako (Victoria) and Bryan Bowersock (Caroline) along with his cherished nephew Douglas Cloud (Lizzy) and nieces Sarah Zaharako, Julie Zaharako, Lexi Bowersock and his caregiver of thirteen years, Asnath Sands. His fur babies Jessie, Buddy, Maggie, Tuxedo, and Honey also loved his scratches behind their ears, pats on the back and the occasional snuggles in bed.
A memorial service will be held at Homestead Hospital, Saturday, May 19th 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Homestead Hospital in James’ memory: baptisthealth.net/en/giving/pages/donate-now.aspx. Donations may also be mailed to Homestead Hospital Foundation Office, 975 Baptist Way, Homestead, FL 33033.