James F. Leath, Jr. was born on July 19, 1942 to the Late Reverend Dr. James F. and Mrs. Bertha M. Leath, Sr. He graduated from Huntington High School in Huntington, N.Y. where he was a distinguished athlete in basketball, football, and track and field. He is still the New York State record holder for the 100 yard dash. His academic record and athletic prowess won him a scholarship to Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, Class of 1964, where he continued to distinguish himself in football, and track and field.
In 1980, Jim (also known as Frankie to his family and some friends) received his diploma from the Institute for Acupuncture Studies and realized a long time dream of practicing acupuncture and herbal medicine, and became a member of the Acupuncture Practitioners Association of Massachusetts. In 1996, he earned a certificate in UNIX System Administration from Boston University.
Throughout his career, he was Director of Teenage Employment Skills Training, worked at Abt Associates as a Deputy Contract Manager, was Compliance Officer at Massachusetts Port Authority, and was Senior Computer Operator at Education Loan Services and EMC, before his retirement.
He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Sigma Chapter. He was a Prince Hall Mason in Widow Son Lodge #28.
Jim/Frankie was a lover of music with a beautiful tenor voice; he loved three and four part harmony. As a founding member of Onyx and JoyFul, he was able to use that beautiful voice and his skills to produce and sing music that delighted his audiences. He was a life long learner, something he passed on to his children and grandchildren, whom he loved unconditionally. He is survived by his three children: Michelle Leath, Sarai Senat (Ralph) and James F. Leath III; his eight grandchildren: Zahra, Ayana, Jayda, Bakari, Jasmine, Eryka, Avel and Amir; his brother, Bishop Jeffrey N. Leath (Susan), sisters, Caprice I. Buskey (Dwight) and Natasha S. Leath; Leslie, his former wife and friend, as well as cousins, nieces, nephews and a host of family and friends.
Cards and other messages of sympathy can be sent to The Family of James F. Leath, Jr., 1786 Windsorbrooke Dr., Marietta, GA 30062.
A Memorial Service celebrating his life will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2016, at Grant A.M.E Church, 1906 Washington St., Boston, MA 02118 at 1:00 pm.