Jim’s Story

The Life of Jim Kincaid

James Dean (Jim) Kincaid (1963 — 2009)

The date was January 29, 1963. It was 6:30 in the evening. John F. Kennedy was still the sitting president of the United States and was entering the third and final year of his abbreviated presidency. The Beatles (a favorite band of Jim’s) would release their first album only two months later. The day Tom Selleck was celebrating his 18th birthday and the State of Kansas was marking its 102nd year of statehood, a shiny, new Jim Kincaid was receiving the first of what certainly must have been a continual series of childhood spankings in the delivery room of Providence Hospital at 18th and Tauromee in Kansas City, KS.

Jim’s mother, Sandra “Sonnie” Kincaid was 21 years old at the time and completely oblivious to the force of nature that she had just unleashed into the world. Make no mistake, Sonnie, to this day, is a very sweet woman and should not be blamed.

The same holds true for Jim’s dad, Fred Kincaid. Fred was a gentle man all the way until his passing just the year (2008) prior to Jim’s passing. Having witnessed the newborn, Fred, being a cerebral man, surely recognized the need to immediately summon all resources at his disposal, not in some ill-conceived notion of actually stopping the impending tsunami, but merely erecting some sort of temporary breakwater, thus giving all a fair chance to flee.

Actually, unknown to many, Jim was born premature at 7 months. He tipped the scale that day at 3 pounds and 9 ounces. Because of Jim’s extremely early birth, Sonnie indicated that Jim’s survival at the time was tenuous at best. But like a seed to a sequoia, his birth weight completely belied the barrel-chested, 240 lb. fullback he grew to be and, as Sonnie remarked, “Jim fought coming in and he fought going out.” Isn’t that the truth!

Kim (Jim’s younger sister), Fred and Sonnie spent Jim’s early years in the Quindaro area of Kansas City, KS. His elementary school years transpired in the Maple Hill area of Kansas City, KS., where he irradiated the halls of Junction Elementary (42nd and Shawnee Dr.) with his own personal brand of sunshine.

During 1974 (5th grade), the westward migration of the Kincaid clan occurred, to the suburbian paradise of Basehor, KS. There, Jim would spend the remainder of his grade school (Basehor Elementary), middle school (Basehor Middle School) and high school (Basehor High School Class of ’81) years residing in a handsome split-level that Fred had built in the picturesque neighborhood known locally as “Rickel Addition”. This house remained Jim’s base of operations from which he launched nightly sorties throughout his high school years.

Jim participated and excelled in sports year round. He was a multi-year letterman in basketball and football, and was a team captain his senior year in football (fullback and defensive end) In basketball, Jim had no qualms about uncorking his rainbow jump shot but only if it was in the best interests of the team. He always kept the best interests of the team in mind. Actually, it was truly amazing how often he found the bottom of the net. He poured in 39 points in one game his junior year.

Jim’s next move was westward once again where he commenced his college career at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS (1981-1984). He was accepted into the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity where he maintained lifelong friendships that remained active until the time of his passing. KSU is where the seeds of his successful career in business were planted and cultivated. They were irrigated in Aggieville. However, in an effort to be closer to his ill grandmother, Jim transferred to the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) where he graduated in 1986 with a degree in finance.

After graduation, Jim remained in the Kansas City area (Westport and Johnson County) where he managed several offices of an air freight cargo business, including offices in Kansas City and St. Louis. On an occasion one evening in St. Louis, a lethal combination of Jim’s power of persuasion (he would not accept “no” for an answer) and animal magnetism attracted the attention of one Lauri Ann Kling so much so that she agreed to marry him on September 3, 1994. Presuming further agreement, Lauri gave birth to their first child, Meredith, on April 29, 1997. Then, obviously weakened by nearly three additional years of Jim’s relentless persuasion, Lauri gave birth to their second and last child, Jimmy ( a “chip off the old block”). The two kids are the absolute embodiment of Jim’s spirit.

In October of 1997, after much deliberation, Jim and Kevin Martinez (KSU friend) made a decision to launch into their own air freight cargo business based in Kansas City. Though the decision was not easy, it turned out to be a wise one nonetheless. The imminent success of their venture was a foregone conclusion as the confluence of their talents and energy made no other outcome possible. The business remains successful to this day.

Jim (Kevin and families), through the business, involved himself greatly in “The Children’s Place” charity as a means of giving back to the community. His time in the charity revolved around inspiring underprivileged kids to view themselves in a light in which they might not otherwise have the opportunity to perceive themselves.

Jim, Lauri and the kids have lived their married years in Kansas City North in the area of southern Platte County and later moving to Clay County.

As with all challenges that Jim assailed in his lifetime, he fought his illness with all the weaponry that God put in his arsenal: Faith, love, humor, reasoned optimism and a boundless energy. Though Jim had no further choice but to relent on December 16, 2009, he can rest with a grin in knowing that if a life not lived is a life not worth living, then his life was wholly worthwhile. Because live it, he did. And he did it his way.