Age 86, of Manhattan, “Jim” passed away peacefully on January 6th after a long illness. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Angela Miknius, and two sons and their families from Jim’s first marriage to Jacquelin Wright Frenzel, who predeceased him. James III and daughter-in-law Karen Zeferjahn are residents of Moscow, ID, parents of Rachel, Derek, and Ryan. Gregory and daughter-in-law Regina Degnan, of Chatham NJ, are the parents of three children, Quinn, Tess and Alexandra. Jim was fiercely proud of both sons, the happy marriages they made, and his six wonderful grandchildren.
Born October 21, 1933, into a prominent banking family in Indianapolis, IN, Jim was the only child of James F. Frenzel and Willie-Mai (Sonia) Brown. He graduated from Onarga Military School, a college preparatory boarding school in Onarga, IL, in 1951. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Jim enrolled in Indiana University and was a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brother. His college career was interrupted when he enlisted in the United States Army, serving on active duty between 1953 and 1956 during the Korean Conflict. He was stationed mostly in Japan, attached to the Adjutant General’s Corps.
After graduating from IU in 1958, Jim joined Nuveen & Co. in Chicago IL, the beginning of a 40 year career in the financial securities industry. He soon relocated to New York City where he found his niche in the municipal bond business as an institutional bond salesman. He was proud to be affiliated with a number of fine Wall Street firms, many of which are no more. Jim loved the business, was smart, ambitious, even driven, but dealt always with integrity and fairness, respected by customers and colleagues alike. Tall with an almost military bearing, distinguished looking (think courtly senior senator right out of central casting), was social and outgoing, with a booming baritone mid-western drawl, Jim was a memorable character in that time and place.
He was “old school” in ways admirable and quaint. His word was his bond, he was loyal and generous to a fault with friends and family. Long after restaurant dress codes went the way of the rotary dial phone, Jim always inquired if jacket and tie were required. He enjoyed fine dining, became an avid golfer in middle age, enjoyed bridge, held strong political views which he was not shy to share. He was a lifelong student of history, especially military history, and a lover of operetta and opera beginning in his student days. Quite the marksman in his youth, he enjoyed varmint hunting in rural Indiana, a pastime his second wife found decidedly foreign, having herself been raised in the urban environs of Paterson, NJ. Eventually this too she embraced as one more unique and endearing facet of this never-boring man’s persona. May he rest in peace. An event to celebrate Jim’s life is planned for later in the year. For memorial guestbook please visit www.GilmanandValade.com.