James M. Allaire

  • Born: March 6, 1917
  • Died: January 5, 2013
  • Location: Iowa City, Iowa

Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service

2720 Muscatine Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52240

Tel. (319) 338-1132

Tribute & Message From The Family

James M. Allaire, 95, of Iowa City, died Saturday, January 5, 2013, at Briarwood Health Care Center.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 12, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Coralville with the Reverend David Hitch officiating. Burial will be at the Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City. Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the church. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made in his memory to Iowa City Hospice at 1025 Wade Street, Iowa City, IA 52240. Online condolences may be sent for his family through the web at www.gayandciha.com.

James Mortimer Allaire was born March 6, 1917, in Brooklyn NY, the son of Douglas and Grace Allaire. Jim graduated from The Cooper Union in 1939 with a BS degree in Civil Engineering and joined Turner Construction Company the next year. He married Virginia McCann at St. Rose of Lima Church in Brooklyn in 1942. The new couple moved to Ashtabula, Ohio, for a Turner project for the war effort. According to Jim, it was "pretty far west" for "a couple of provincial New Yorkers." It turned out to be just the first of several moves during his nearly fifty years with Turner. After Ashtabula the growing family returned to New York, followed by moves to Missouri, Ontario Canada, and back to Katonah NY which had become their home base. Jim's final Turner transfer was to Southern California in 1965. Jim and Virginia lived in Arcadia CA until they came to Iowa in 1997.

Jim's career with Turner progressed from job site timekeeper in 1940 to Vice President and Operations Manager of the Los Angeles district. He officially retired in 1982 but consulted as Project Executive on several Los Angeles area Turner projects through the 80s. He also served as an arbitrator and mediator for national arbitration organizations through 2003.

Among Jim's major projects for Turner were several buildings in New York including the American Airlines terminal at Idlewild airport (1960) and the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center (1964); and several buildings in Los Angeles including Union Bank Plaza (1968), ARCO Plaza (1972 - now City National Plaza), and Security Pacific Plaza (1974 - now Bank of America Plaza).

On hearing of his passing, a past President of Turner wrote that Jim was a mentor to everyone in Turner who met him. His analytical and professional approach to management was a tremendous contribution to the company and his sage advice and counsel is now part of the culture of the company.

Jim and Virginia lived a full life together. They studied and enjoyed opera, art, and languages. They traveled extensively, driving around the United States and through Europe several times and also visiting China and South America. Their last overseas trip was to Iceland in 2004.

Jim cared for the least among us and was active in his community through the church and other organizations. His life was lived with humor and compassion.

He would want to thank the entire staff at Briarwood Health Care Center for making his last couple of years comfortable, sociable, interesting, and fun.

The punch list is complete and the owner's expectations have been well met.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Virginia; his parents, brothers Douglas, John, Frank, and sister Grace White; and his brother-in-law Father Kevin McCann.

His family includes children Jim (Cheryl) Allaire of St. Cloud MN; Virginia (David) Beals of Columbus OH; Doug (Ann) Allaire of Iowa City IA; and Neil (Lois) Allaire of Broomfield CO; seven grandchildren, James A. Allaire, Jamie and Caitlin Beals, Jennifer (Stephen) Cooper, Emily Allaire, Ryan and Kyle Allaire; great-grandchildren, Grace, Ethan, and Samuel Cooper, and Allaire, Gilmore, and Egan Taiber; sister-in-law, Sr. Mary Jogues McCann of Rockville Center NY; and brother-in-law, Joseph McCann of Hudson FL.

Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service is caring for Jim's family and his services.