Obituary: Samuel James "Jim" Close

Mr. Close, a parishioner at Resurrection Catholic Church, in Winter Garden, died Feb. 7, 2021.

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Samuel James “Jim” Close passed away Feb. 7, 2021. He was born in Fulton, New York, on April 17, 1937, the son of the late Samuel John Close and Katherine Kavanaugh Close. He was a graduate from both Fulton High School and SUNY Delhi. 

Following his college graduation, Jim became a brother in Maryknoll Catholic Missions, where he built dormitories for the religious order in San Francisco, Chicago and Brookline, Massachusetts. He came to Central Florida in the winter of 1963 for a vacation and loved it so much that he never left. He was a builder and general contractor for 45 years and built condominiums, custom homes and commercial buildings across the state. Later in his life, he worked in Watercraft at Walt Disney World, enjoying the water and driving the boats to the Magic Kingdom.

Jim built a wonderful life in Orlando with his wife, Janice, and their two daughters, Jennifer and Kristin. He was a devout Catholic who attended mass weekly over the years at Holy Family Catholic Church, Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine and Resurrection Catholic Church. Jim enjoyed traveling, golf, history, jigsaw puzzles and gardening. He also enjoyed aviation and held a private pilot’s license for many years. He loved nature and animals and was often seen walking the family pet. Jim was a peaceful, gentle and selfless man who was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend to many. We will miss him dearly and are all better people for having known him.   

He is survived by his wife, Janice Close of Winter Garden; daughters, Jennifer Close of Winter Garden and Kristin (Stephen) Vamossy of Valhalla, New York; grandsons, Andrew and James Vamossy of Valhalla, New York; sisters, Mary Close of Leesburg and Monica Colaneri of Troy, New York; brother, Patrick Close of Black Mountain, North Carolina; and countless other family members and friends who loved him for his kindness. 

Jim was a parishioner of Resurrection Catholic Church in Winter Garden. A funeral mass will be held at Resurrection Catholic Church at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. Interment will follow at Winter Garden Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Resurrection Catholic Church in Winter Garden, Florida, to support the refurbishment of the church. The direct website to the online giving page is Please choose “Funded Depreciation Reserve” as the fund type to support the building fund. Checks can also be mailed to Resurrection Catholic Church, 1211 Winter Garden Vineland Road, Winter Garden, FL 34787.


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