Jim Dwight Greenberg, of Landisville, passed away Saturday, April 11, 2015, six weeks after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. He was 54. He was born February 18, 1961 in Seoul, South Korea. As the son of a military physician, Jim grew up in various areas of the country. He graduated from Grinnell College in 1983 and Dickinson School of Law in 1986.
He is survived by his soul-mate and wife, Jennifer Greenberg, children, Chris, Hannah and Ellie Greenberg, and Jared and Lucas Cheyney, sister, Betsy Wones, brother Jerry Greenberg (wife- Diana), Jennifer’s parents, Linda and Abram Hershey, and several nieces and nephews.
While most of us lose our affinity for light-hearted play and curiosity after childhood, Jim’s seemed to flourish until his last breath. His years as an undergraduate student at Grinnell College in Iowa fostered his innate love of learning and solidified his belief that we are all students of life. He took many opportunities to nurture young peoples’ inquisitive minds. Among countless other volunteer roles Jim assumed, he was a Big Brother for Big Brothers Big Sisters, a mentor for mock trial teams and an advisor for Franklin and Marshall College students trying to get the board to divest from fossil fuels. Whenever Jim went back to Grinnell for reunions, he was eager and enthusiastic to sit in on classes. More importantly, most of his informal education came from listening to others’ stories. He had a natural gift for making people feel heard and valued. He treated everyone he met from his children’s friends, to strangers down on their luck, to cab drivers, to business executives, with equal kindness and respect.
He went out of his way to be kind and generous: lighting up waitresses’ nights with his absurd jokes; writing a poem for a brand-new US citizen he met on the train from Philadelphia to Lancaster, welcoming him to this beautiful country; and spontaneous trips to be with friends and family during difficult times.
Because he gave of himself in this way, he inspired us all to do the same. He touched countless lives in ways we may never know. In Jim’s final weeks, the outpouring of love and support he felt was a reflection of the unbounded love he gave others. This shed light upon one of his 16 Life Lessons Thus Far, “there is no difference between giving and receiving love.”
His passion for serving others translated itself into a successful law career in York, Lancaster and the surrounding areas for many years, most recently as a principal in the firm of Katherman, Briggs & Greenberg. There, he dedicated himself to helping victims of accidents and the their families, working tirelessly as a champion of justice. Jim was a member of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, York County Bar Association, Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Association of Justice and Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
It was Jim’s commitment to environmental and social justice issues that prompted his next great mission in life. In 2009, Jim co-founded Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation, a company with the technology to provide clean drinking water and sustainable energy to sub-tropic regions of the world, thus reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
Through all of his business ventures, philanthropy and work to change the world, the true love of Jim’s life was his family. Jim made the time to take each of his children on special trips all over the world. He was a constant source of wisdom and guidance for his children and wife. He encouraged his children to follow their own paths and practice gratitude and presence along the way. He cherished the time he spent with his loving wife, Jen, on their annual trips to Stone Harbor.
He spent much of his free time playing the guitar, singing, telling stories and jokes, laughing and enjoying the company of his two furry children, his Bernese Mountain dogs, Laurel and Hardy. His kindness, devotion, support and selflessness as a husband, father, brother, son, uncle and friend will never be forgotten.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Jim’s memory may be made to:
Institute of Play -http://www.instituteofplay.org/donate/
Compassion and Choices- https://www.compassionandchoices.org/what-you-can-do/donate/
To view Jim’s 16 Life Lessons Thus Far and information on his Memorial Celebration please visit: www.caringbridge.org/visit/jimgreenberg