Family and friends may call from 2 pm to 6 pm on Friday, September 3, 2021, at Compassionate Funeral Care, 402 Maple Ave., (Rte 9 and/or Marion Ave.) Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
A full version of the obituary will be updated on Thursday, September 2nd.
This was a comment made by one of our readers.
I am posting this because what killed Jim also killed my grandmother.
A dental infection along with a heart condition together make a perfect storm. Dental infections can lead to sepsis which can lead to heart disease or death in otherwise healthy individuals.
Jim had heart disease and a dental infection. The two together spell death for any healthy individual.
I wasn’t going to post out of respect to the dead, but Jim died a senseless death. No one should ever die from a completely treatable ailment in the 21st century.
This eulogy of Jim was written by one of his friends.
My dear friend, Jim Del Negro died in Mexico on August 30 of a heart attack. He was 54.
I will share my own views of Jim. Others may have their own recollections and I hope that they will share them.
My perspective of Jim is that he always had other people’s back. He spent his life this way, looking out for others.
When he was your friend, you could depend on him to be your friend, to be loyal, whether he was with you nearby or far away. If you spoke to him daily or only once in a while, you knew he wasn’t going to change. He was your friend and that meant a lot.
His was the kind of gentle nature, where he had an ease about him, a spirit of saying good things about others and, as for his friends, he was relentless in praising them to others.
I noted well that with Jim, if ever he had something less than flattering to say about someone, he reserved that strictly for the person himself, face to face, privately. But even then he always saw the good in them and always tried to encourage more goodness in them.
But to others, he would always praise his friends behind their backs.
If there is a secret recipe for being beloved, and Jim was beloved in his community — which is after all the greatest judge of a man — what those who knew him well thought of him – it is to be known for not speaking ill of others behind their backs. That was his hallmark.
He was never a man for scandal or gossip. He never enjoyed the bearing of tales and his mind was disciplined to not pass things along that would potentially make someone’s life a little harder.
Would it only be so that the whole world adopted this habit of his. How much easier this world of ours would be.
How many times does our reputation precede us? How many secrets do others know about us that we would not want to have told them but were told of us by others? And we must live with that and offset the secret thoughts of others.
With Jim, this was never the case. He was sterling as a friend. You knew you could trust him with a secret or a problem for of all the people I know he was the last to reveal a confidence.
When you met someone who Jim introduced to you, you were standing on better ground, for your reputation preceded you — from Jim, who praised you, who made you look great in others’ eyes.
He believed in what he taught. That is all he would say. He would not promise riches, or success or betterment – other than it lies within each to better themselves and that he found that the courses he taught, which he was also once a student and continued to be a student, bettered his life. And continued to better it.
Ironically, Jim used to say that he loved funerals because, although there was sadness there, people weren’t trying to control anything and some were able to experience joy in letting go.
He did not try to control anything. He offered himself and let others take or fail to take the opportunity to get to know him or what he had to teach.
For me, I can speak only personally. He was a very good friend, the example of what a kind friend should be. At any hour of the day, I mean literally, he would make himself available to help anyone in need. I never saw him dodge this kind of behavior which I think he seemed to have seen as some kind of human duty, which all people should possess.
So how many friends can you count who you can call at 4 am in the morning if need be and expect him to be there? How many do you know that if you really had a problem or a challenge that perplexed or threatened you, that you could call on who would muster whatever they had to help you?
He possessed this innately – the inability to ignore a friend.
He was also a wonderful teacher. He conducted many ESP classes and I doubt there was ever anyone who found him boring or less than engaging. Many people could provide testimonials of his wonderful teaching, always considerate, never lackluster, often filled with humor, always congenial, and always with a genuine appreciation for the student and the experience of learning.
People loved his classes and I know that oftentimes when someone of stature would be taking a class, it was often Jim that was chosen, for anyone who went through classes with him was bound to be impressed not only with the teachings but in the caliber of the teacher.
Jim was also a leader of the Society of Protectors. This much-maligned and improperly described group was something Jim was very proud of. On another day, perhaps I will try to explain how Jim and myself and many other men saw this and its mission.
It was not anything less than the encouragement of honor, of courage, of strength, of those who were strong seeking to protect the weak and give comfort to them. It was based on the idea of encouraging honesty and manliness.
Jim was a believer that strong men in the world were important and he was one such. He helped thousands of people through his teachings and through his example. He was also a soldier against hate. His noble heart ached with the war that came down on his community. Maybe his heart couldn’t take so much hate. His compassion and sensitivity were perhaps too much for the situation.
Jim was a fighter for the good cause, but a gentle warrior. While I would not say he died of a broken heart, I would say he was hurt and he absorbed the pain of many others. Perhaps this affected his health over time.
Jim promoted the good in people and helped people to improve their lives. He offered only that which was upbuilding and that which meant growth in people, as he saw it.
What else shall I say as to not ramble? He was my best friend and one of the kindest souls I ever encountered. He would walk with a joyful step. I am not sure you could even call it walking. It was sort of a cross between jumping and walking all the time.
He was always smiling and joking. His laughter was contagious.
But he was serious too. He declared for freedom at every turn. He said, “My mission is to discuss and debate the virtue and ethics of freedom and humanity over the delusion of safety and security.”
He wanted people to be free – to think for themselves. Jim thought of himself as a free thinker.
He was an admirer of the founding fathers and philosophers of all lands who tried to establish theories of how to create a civilized society.
He opposed censorship. That “free speech is the fundamental building block which is necessary for a free civil society to exist.”
He also believed in people having differing opinions being civil and one day becoming friends.
Shortly before he died, he reached out to NXIVM nemesis Frank Parlato and wrote to him about his own stance for freedom principles, “Being able to transcend differences of belief to uphold principles is a noble act and one that I honor you for. Your efforts are bringing light to millions of people who are punished and stripped of their freedom and dignity by corruption and abuse of power.”
Jim was a teacher, an uncle to the whole community. Everyone could approach him.
He was born in Gloversville and spent most of his adult life in the Albany area. He was tall, perhaps 6’3″ or more. And he was an athlete and it is often seen that the athlete dies too soon. He left his mark on his students and his friends and will be remembered as a pillar of strength to those who knew him, a man who came and made his mark and left too soon.