I was lucky enough to know James Patrick Ladley, Jimbo, as I called him, for 36 years. Our paths crossed many roads, hill, valleys, peaks, right and wrong turns. Through all of it, we remained the closest of friends...
One of the many enjoyable stories of our friendship is how we met... We met in the hallway outside Sister Margarites 1st grade class. We both were thrown out for misbehaving. Right there we developed a bond that never broke...
He had a passion for life. He never took the easy way out. He was a dedicated athlete from childhood, as a young baseball player, he was a Little League Allstar. He had the toughest position, catcher. In high school at Moore Catholic, he was the best defensive forward. His responsibility was the other team's best offensive player, usually bigger and better skilled, but Jimmy's heart and desire evened the score...
He wanted you to feel part of his success, his home was your home, and his generosity was endless. He shared so much of his life with my family and friends, always making people feel comfortable wherever he went...I was given a lot of respect based solely on the fact that I was Jim Ladley's friend. I felt a tremendous amount of pride in that. Jimmy stood for all the right things in life, family, friendship and the love of his country. He loved his family, and always placed them first...When I needed advice, whether it was about my family, my relationships, or business career, I could count on Jimmy to give me his honest, straightforward, no-strings-attached opinion. Sometimes it wasn't what I wanted to hear, but always what I needed.
I was in his wedding party 5 years ago; he was my best man 3 years ago. Our wives have become best friends; his children are a beautiful reflection of himself and his lovely wife Sheri. A few months ago over dinner, my wife Natalie, and I asked Jimmy and Sheri to be the godparents of our child ....now a little girl. I think that's the highest compliment you can give to friends. Well Jimbo, you accomplished a lot of things in life; you strived to be the best at so many things. To me personally the one thing I know you got 100% right was being my best friend. I will never forget your smile your laugh, your patience with me, your passions for life. Jimbo, thanks for being the best friend a guy could ever have.
Michael McAvoy, best friend over 36 years
I played baseball with Jimmy when we were teens (Staten Island, NY). He was a great team mate, nice person, and a very good ballplayer. You are missed and will always be remembered. God bless your family and friends.
Jim McKillop (Atlanta, GA), Babe Ruth baseball teammate