Waters Field namesake James J. Waters, 84, died at his Vienna residence Dec. 30 after a lengthy illness.
In 1960 Jim, his wife Doris and four children moved to Vienna from his hometown of Washington, D.C. At that time, Vienna was a sleepy little community where maple trees lined Route 123, and Nutley Street had a one-lane bridge, and the nearest McDonald's was in Falls Church. He moved his family from the city to the "sticks" as he called it then.
He quickly became active in the Babe Ruth League, as a team coach for his two oldest sons' undefeated ball team. He rose through the ranks as regional director, state director, and was a former Vienna Babe Ruth League president. Jim was instrumental in leading the effort to construct the baseball dugouts built at Madison High School in the '60s and the concession stand at Oakton High School in the '70s. In 1971, for all of his hard work and dedication towards the Vienna Babe Ruth League, he was honored by having the ball field next to the Vienna Community Center named after him, "Waters Field." For all of his hard work and efforts through the years he was also honored with being inducted in 1999 into the Babe Ruth League Hall of Fame. At opening day that year he was invited to toss out the first ball at Waters Field.
He was a World War II veteran recently honored at the opening ceremonies of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. He served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945 with the 5th Army — West Coast, North Africa, Italy; and with the 10th Army — Pacific, Salerno, Anzio, Monte Cassino. He received six battle stars.
Jim attended St. Mark's Catholic Church in Vienna from its founding when Mass was being held at Madison High School. He quickly became an active member in his church serving as an usher to the congregation.
He retired in 1986 after 40 years of service with the Potomac Electric Power Company. During that time he also served as a liaison working as a right-of-way representative between PEPCO and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. He was recognized by WSSC with the Joseph E. Powell Fellowship Award for his dedicated work.
After retiring from PEPCO, he and his wife spent time at their beach house in Rehoboth, Del., traveling with friends, staying in touch with the PEPCO "lunch bunch" and reuniting once a year with his Army unit. Most of all, he loved spending time with his family and adored his 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
He made friends easily in his neighborhood, church, and community, striking up conversations with strangers who later became his friend.
He left a legacy that taught to give back not just by words but with his actions, hard work and lots of laughter.
Survivors include his wife of almost 60 years of marriage, Doris Waters; and four children — Michael Waters of Vienna, Tim Waters of Fairfax, Tom Waters of Front Royal and Jeanne Calandro of Annapolis, Md.