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Funeral Service

Lansing United Methodist Church
Saturday January 5th, 2019

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James R. Shreve

On December 29th, 2018, James R. Shreve passed peacefully surrounded by love and family at Brittany Pointe Estates, in Lansdale, PA.  A loving husband for 68 years, “Coach Shreve” was the father of three sons.  He was born in Plainfield, NJ, son of John Donald and Helen Shreve of Fanwood, NJ, in August of 1926.

He graduated Scotch Plains High School (1945) where he was a three sport star, and was recognized as First Team All-State selection in both football and basketball. He was inducted into the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Hall of Fame (2006).  After high school, he accepted a scholarship to attend Syracuse University.  He played on the basketball team at Syracuse (45-46), and the football team (48-50) for Ben Schwartzwalder.  He served his country in the US. Army from 1946-47.

A dual position player on the football team, he excelled as a defensive back, and held the Syracuse school record set in 1950 for most interceptions at that time.  He graduated from Syracuse in 1951, with a BA in education.   It was at Syracuse that he met the love of his life, Dorian Lloyd Shreve, of Buffalo, NY, and they had a wonderful, loving marriage of over 68 years. Jim’s frequent quote, “my marriage to Dorian was the best decision of my life.”

In 1951 he embarked on a stellar coaching career at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, where he was the youngest Head Coach in the country.   He also coached at George Washington, Lehigh, Syracuse, Iowa State and Cornell Universities.  At Lehigh, the Engineers won the first Lambert Cup trophy in 1958. He was appointed Head Lacrosse Coach at Lehigh in 1959 and guided the team to a National Championship. That same year, he accepted an offer from Syracuse as the Director of Recruiting and Head Freshmen Football coach. His first year at Syracuse, the Orange went 11-0 and won the National Championship. Two national championships at different colleges in the same year is family legend.

 After a freshmen record of 36-4, he became the backfield coach, and was an integral part of the dominant Syracuse teams of the 1960’s. During his 14-year tenure at Syracuse, he is credited with recruiting many great athletes that left an indelible mark on the program.  He coached many great players at “The Cuse,” such as Ernie Davis, Larry Csonka, Floyd Little, and John Mackey. Coach Shreve recruited Tom Coughlin (NY Giants Head Coach 2004-2015). “The Jim Shreve Show” became a weekly broadcast on WHEN-TV. He also contributed to the production of the movie “The Express”, as a consultant. Jim was honored to be inducted into the Syracuse Lettermen of Distinction on October 12th, 2007. 

He was a man of integrity and was a respected member of the AFCA for over 35 years. He will be remembered most for his warm, engaging demeanor. He had an innate ability to make everyone feel welcomed, respected, and important. In retirement, Jim and Dorian lived in Ithaca, NY, for over 35 years. Active in the real estate market, he loved Ithaca and their many friends and neighbors. An avid reader, a big Cubs fan, a lover of birds, Jersey shore vacations, and following Syracuse Athletics were life’s joys. He was a 20 year member and past president of the Ithaca Cayuga Rotary Club.

Jim will be reunited in heaven with his son Kirk, who predeceased him in September, 2006, and two brothers, Wister and Donald Shreve.  His legacy will live on with those who survive him: sons James (Beverly) Shreve of Wilmington, DE;  Michael (Janie) Shreve of Bethlehem, PA; and his sister, Barbara Kelly of Bethlehem, PA.

He is also survived by six grandchildren:  Justin, Kate, Suzy, Vanessa, Natalie and Michael.  He has 9 great grandchildren:  Vesper, Evan, Lansing, Easton, Silas, Leighton, Bailey, Everett, and Cameron.  We love you, Grampop.

A funeral service celebrating Jim’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 5, 2019, at Lansing United Methodist Church, 32 Brickyard Road, Lansing, NY 14882, with Pastor Alison Schmied officiating.  Military honors will be rendered, followed by private family burial in Ludlowville Pine Grove Cemetery, Lansing, NY.  Family and friends are invited to gather in the church fellowship hall following the service.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jim's memory can be directed to JDRF or the American Cancer Society.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Shreve, please visit our flower store.


Thank you for the beautiful flowers, Mr. Coughlin. Much love, the Shreve fmaily

Natalie Shreve Jan 8 2019 12:00 AM

To the Shreve Family, I would like to express my sympathies on the loss of your Husband, Father, and Grandfather. May God bless you all with strength. John P. Ritchie, F-M Class of 1971. Mike you and your family are in my prayers.

John P. Ritchie Jan 5 2019 12:00 AM

My husband and I had dinner with Jim and Dorian a few times at Brittany Pointe. We enjoyed their company very much. When my husband went to WBC we lost touch. However I got to know them a lot better when they came to WBC as I was there everyday with Don. A lovely couple that I introduced to my granddaughter as she was looking at Syracuse. Jim was excited that she was interested in Syracuse. She is now in her 2nd year there and loves it. I want to say Jim and Mike were very faithful sons visiting often although they were not local. I express my deepest sympathy to Dorian, Jim and Mike and extended family. I wish I had gotten to know him better. Marlene Thomas

marlene thomas Jan 5 2019 12:00 AM

With deepest sympathy. I have many fond memories of Coach and his family circa 1960s and 1970s. He demonstrated excellence at developing young men through his example as a gentleman and a technical expert in many different aspects of football, as well as life. He knew what was important. Ted Dailey, Jr. F-M 1971, SU 1975.

Ted Dailey, Jr. Jan 5 2019 12:00 AM

Dorian and family......there are no words to express my sadness at Jim's passing.....what a wonderful man and a beautiful family.....I have known you since I was a little girl and my dad was coaching at SU......we were all a happy family. I will never forget how kind you were to all of us when my brother passed away - you could not have been more thoughtful. Hopefully, Jim is having a great reunion with all his coaches.....I know my parents and Tommy are welcoming him with much joy. Please know I am thinking about you all with love - Rockette

Rockette Pirro Brunetti Jan 4 2019 12:00 AM

Dorian & Family...

We were so very saddened to hear of Jim's passing. He was one of the most influential people who truly had a significant impact on my life. I have always admired and respected his character and integrity both on and off the
football field. He will truly be missed and always remembered. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and all
your family.

Gary & Denise Bugenhagen Jan 4 2019 12:00 AM

Jim and Mike
Sorry to read of your Dad's passing. Since first meeting him during recruitment in 1967, I found
him to be always upbeat and easy to talk to. That never changed over the years. Thoughts and
prayers to you and your families.
Dan Craver

Dan Craver Jan 3 2019 12:00 AM

The entire Athletic Department at Moravian College sends their prayers and sympathy.
We are grateful he was a part of our team and know his legacy will live on forever.
Thank you for sharing Jim with us here at Moravian. Sincerely, Mary Beth Spirk, Athletic Director at Moravian College

Mary Beth Spirk Jan 3 2019 12:00 AM

Sorry to hear of Jim's passing. I have known Jim and the family for alot of years. Living in the Syracuse area and belonging to the same church. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Dick and Ginny Whitehead Rosteck

Dick and Ginny Rosteck Jan 3 2019 12:00 AM

A Sincerest Thoughts was sent on January 3, 2019

Coach Shreve, I remember the day you came to my high school, Waterloo Central. Thank you, Tom Coughlin

Expression of Sympathy Jan 3 2019 12:00 AM

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