IN MEMORIAM: The Rev. James B. Jeffrey '58


The Rev. James B. Jeffrey (Class of 1958), a dear and faithful alumnus, has died on July 7, 2013, at the age of 84. He was the partner of Harold M. F. Rush from 1961 until his death on June 6, 1996, residing in East Hampton and New York City. He was known to many alums in his role as CPE supervisor for the Midtown Chaplaincy, and later at St. Luke’s Hospital where he began an outstanding AIDS ministry. After graduating from Tulane University in Civil Engineering in 1950, he worked for Raymond Concrete Pile Company, starting as a field supervisor and later becoming Assistant District Manager of the New Orleans office. In preparation for seminary he attended the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. After graduating from General, Jeffrey served the Church of the Incarnation in New York City for four years and then as Rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Eastchester, New York, until 1966.

After being awarded a Fellowship by the Episcopal Mission Society of the Diocese of New York in Clinical Pastoral Education, he moved into institutional chaplaincy at Central Islip State Psychiatric Hospital, the Rikers Island Penitentiary, Bellevue Hospital, Juvenile Detention Center in the Bronx. In 1970 he became the Director of Chaplains for the East Midtown Protestant Chaplaincy Incorporated which served the east-side hospitals: New York/Cornell, Memorial Sloane-Kettering, Lenox Hill and the Hospital for Special Surgery.

He obtained a Masters degree in Human Resource Development from American University, Washington D.C., in 1984 and became the Chaplain and CPE Supervisor at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital. Here he coordinated the Ministry to Persons with AIDS, establishing the AIDS Ministry and continued to care for those with AIDS until retirement in 1995. James Jeffrey spent his entire ministry in the Diocese of New York and the Eastern Region of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). He served the Diocese as the Dean of Institutional Clergy and for the Committee on Alcoholism and Addictions. Within the ACPE, he served on the Certification Committee and chaired the Accreditation Committee. He helped found the Gay and Lesbian Task Force and was elected the Regional Director of the Eastern Region ACPE.

Jeffrey's true passion was gardening and horticulture. He was renowned for his success in acclimatizing camellias to the environment of his East Hampton home. He was Honorary Vice President of the Delphinium Society, President of the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons (HAH) bringing horticultural education to local schools, the elderly, and the disabled.

A funeral service was celebrated on July 13 at St Luke's Church in East Hampton, New York.