James A. Openshaw, Jr. ’51

James Arnold Openshaw, Jr., 84, of Edinburgh, IN, formerly of Ellicott City, MD, died on Saturday, July 28, 2018 at his home after a long illness.

Born November 14, 1933 in Newport, RI, he was the son of Dorothy Harvest and James Arnold Openshaw. The family moved to Southampton, MA, where he spent his boyhood years. Jim attended the Williston Northampton School, Class of 1951 and was captain of the ski team. He matriculated with the Class of 1955 at Virginia Military Institute and graduated with distinction in civil engineering.

He received a commission in the US Army and was assigned to the 1st Engineer Battalion (Combat), with duty at Ft. Belvoir, Ft. Benning, Ft. Riley and Verdun, France. He was honorably discharged in 1959 and returned to the DC area with his young family to begin a civilian career in the construction industry.

After several years managing federal building construction projects for the Arthur Venneri Construction Co., he joined Cherry Hill Sand & Gravel Co., Inc. as General Manager and later as President, establishing it as a civil construction business with headquarters in Jessup, MD. He purchased the company in 1978 and changed its name to Cherry Hill Construction, Inc. Under his ownership and leadership, the company flourished and grew to become a major highway and heavy construction contractor in the mid-Atlantic region.

Jim is survived by his wife, Pamela Openshaw, his first wife Barbara Falge Openshaw, his two sisters, Mrs. Walter Findeisen (NSFG ’50) of Killington, VT and Mrs. Benjamin Naylor (NSFG ’56) of Calais, VT, his three sons, James A. Openshaw, III of Norfolk, VA, David B. Openshaw of Annapolis, MD and Mark F. Openshaw of Jacksonville, FL, and his daughter, Ann O. DeLawder of Bel Air, MD. He had 14 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

2 thoughts on “James A. Openshaw, Jr. ’51”

  1. Jim was a classmate and friend. The time we spent at Williston endowed both of us with a commitment to the school. I will remember “Opie” as an outstanding person who was there to help when needed and a man that cherished the education that he got a Williston.
    It was always a pleasure to hear his thoughts and wisdom. Our thoughts are with his family.
    Shirley and Doug Ramsdell

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