In Memory of





Obituary for James O. "Jim" Rawcliffe

James “Jim” O. Rawcliffe, was born in Lancaster, England on November 8, 1930 and died on Sunday October 17, 2021 at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. He was the second child of Brigadier James M. Rawcliffe, OBE, MC< TD and Margaret D. (Capron) Rawcliffe.

He is predeceased by: his parents and his wife of 60 years, Jutta Maria Edith (Heinisch) Rawcliffe and his brother, Roger Rawcliffe. Jim is survived by his brother, Thomas Rawcliffe and his sister, Adeline Rucklidge; also by his children: Susanna (Phil) Callaghan, Jutta Anne Rawcliffe; Rupert (Roz) Rawcliffe and Charlotte (Walt) Yates; and his grandchildren: Ryan, Thomas and Harry Rawcliffe, Christa and Katie Yates.

Jim was educated at Rossall and went to qualify as a Chartered Accountant with Peat, Marwick Mitchell & Co, (now KPMG). He went on to complete his National Service and was commissioned in the East Lancasire Regiment and served in the BAOR (British Army of the Rhine) in Duesseldorf & Luneburg. During his time in Duesseldorf he met his future wife, Jutta Maria Heinisch in the Anglo German Club “Die Bruecke” prior to her qualifying as a Translator and an Interpreter.

On leaving the Infantry he went on to the London Office on KPMG. During his time there he was married. As a leisure interest he became Chairman of the Debating Club of the Linguists Society at London’s English Speakers Union. He continued his studies and became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management accountants.

Jim left KPMG to become Secretary/Accountant of Flour Millers, McDougalls which became part of RHM (Ranks Hovis McDougall Ltd.) and became Secretary/Accountant of their Food Products Division and then on to become General Manager of the Group’s Management and Central Accountancy services center.

Next he was appointed Finance Director of the Group’s Overseas Division with subsidiaries in some 20 companies on 6 continents. During his time there he was responsible for buying additional companied in Denmark, Canada and the USA. Next he was appointed CEO of the Group’s Finance House, Wessex Finance Corporation. He then took the International Senior Management Program of the Harvard Business School, ISMP 13, in Vevey, Switzerland and was the Class Secretary until his death.

On completion of the program he was appointed Finance Director of the Group’s Grocery Division with the added responsibility of managing the Group’s companies in Denmark & Sweden.

During this period he was elected Councilor of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. He became Chairman of their Estates Committee following the amalgamation of the Councils of Windsor & Maidenhead and over 30 villages. He introduced and industrial expansion program and after his relocation to the USA, the council named one of the new buildings after him.

Additionally he became Chairman of his three daughters Convent School (K to 12) PTA and later of a committee formed to purchase the School from and order of nuns. He became Chairman of the Trustees and Governors once the acquisition was completed. He was also Chairman of the St. Joseph RC Church Parish Committee.

Other interests included membership of the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) where his name is on the wall of plaques and the Friends of Glyndebourne Opera Company.

Jim was then transferred to the Red Wing company of Fredonia as Executive Vice President. After 4 years he was appointed Finance Vice President of RHM (USA) based in Chicago. While there he was responsible for the acquisition of companied in PA, IN, IL & CA and taught strategic planning.

Following retirement he did volunteer work for the International Executive Service Corps. With several assignments in Bulgaria (Pazardjic, Plovdiv & Sliven); & Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He also took and assignment from US Aid in Alexandria & Cairo, Egypt interviewing the CEO’s of 28 companies to provide a training plan.

During his retirement he was a member of the ACBL (American Contract Bridge League) and became a Life Master and played with the Cheese Club in Dunkirk/Fredonia. He was a Director of the Adams Art Gallery and the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation and a member of the Dunkirk-Fredonia Rotary Club. He was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International “in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among the peoples of the world”.

Visitation hours will be Thursday from 6-8pm at the LARSON-TIMKO Funeral Home, 20 Central Ave., Fredonia. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Joseph Church, 145 E. Main St. Fredonia, Friday morning at 10 am. Interment will be in St. Joseph Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph Church or the Rotary Foundation, (

On-line condolences may be made at Arrangements by David J. Dengler.