A photo of James A. “Jim” Honatke

James A. “Jim” Honatke

May 7, 1950 - June 25, 2022

James A. “Jim” Honatke, age 72, of Wilmington, DE, passed away on Saturday, June 25, 2022 in Christiana Hospital after a brief illness.

Born in Aliquippa, PA on May 7, 1950, he was a son of the late John and Diane (Grover) Honatke. Jim served in the United States Navy, and worked for many years as a salesman at Fairfax Hardware.

Jim was an eclectic reader and loved words and language. Jim also loved the outdoors and, in his youth, would spend hours in the woods following the deer paths. He loved food and was an excellent cook. He would try his hand at anything from barbeque to complicated Indian dishes. Music was central to Jim’s life, and he performed before many audiences singing and finger picking guitar. He wrote a song, “Fellowship, Fellowship (Baha’i Calypso)” which is still sung around the world.

Jim’s faith was also very important to him. He became a Baha’i in 1968 and served for many years on the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Wilmington.

Jim struggled all his life with depression, and although he never overcame it, he never gave up.

Jim is survived by his wife, Ginger (Scott) Honatke; and siblings, Lori Miller, Leslie Smith, Kim Vular, Amy DeGori, and Paul Honatke.

A graveside service will be held at 11 am on Thursday, June 30, 2022, at Silverbrook Cemetery, 3300 Lancaster Avenue, Wilmington, DE.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim’s memory to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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10 Condolences for James A. “Jim” Honatke

  • My wife and I offer our condolences to Ginger and family for Jim’s passing. Before Jim moved to Delaware, he lived in Swarthmore, PA and served with me on the Swarthmore Local Spiritual Assembly in the 1970’s. Jim was a good friend and was a member of my wedding party in June, 1978 at Swarthmore College. I will miss him very much and will offer prayers for his progress in the next world.

  • Jim’s depression and other personal issues seemed to blind him to his own exceptional qualities and hinder him from really appreciating how much his life meant to us. Now he’s entered an existence in which his perception surely is brighter and clearer. As I think of my own deep sadness at losing a friend, my heart goes out to Ginger and to the rest of Jim’s family.

  • Jim was one of the first few people we met in late 1979 when we moved to Delaware from England. He was this dashing young man who delighted us with playing guitar and singing at children’s classes in Wilmington. We remember his deep love for reading and the wonderful insights he shared during our deepening gatherings. We will surely miss him but take comfort in the knowledge that his pure soul is now joyfully immersed in the sea of God’s love and blessings. We pray that his spiritual journey through the worlds of God is swift and glorious.

    Our thoughts, prayers, and love are with dear Ginger in this time of loss.

  • I have very fond memories of Jim throughout my childhood. He and Ginger were always so kind, inviting and humble. I’m sorry for your loss, he will be in my prayers.

  • Jim we will miss your bright personality and wisdom. Enjoy the abha kingdom until we meet again. Your Baha’i quin, Pam 💐

  • Dear Ginger, my condolences to you and the family. My prayers and thoughts are with you. May his found memories warm up your heart.

  • Thinking of Jim calls to mind some words from this Tom Paxton song, which was one of several he sang and recorded for me as I was about to go pioneering to Colombia: “He left here to ramble on / My rambling pal is dead and gone / If when we die we go somewhere / I bet you a dollar that he’s rambling there.” Til we meet again, dear friend, Happy ramblin’ !

  • I regret that I was out of town this week and therefore unable to attend the farewell at Jim’s graveside. I’m sure it was a moving moment for all of Jim’s family and friends gathered there. What a pleasure and honor it was to have known him! Ginger, I pray for courage for you, as you navigate this difficult time of grief and transition.

  • Ginger,
    I am so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. May you have fond memories of your life together.

  • My deepest sympathy and condolences to you Ginger and your family. I will keep you all in my thought and prayers.