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Jim Adelis of East Rockaway: Called 'The Lone Ranger' for acts of kindness

Jim Adelis of East Rockaway, chairman of the

Jim Adelis of East Rockaway, chairman of the Building Homes for Heroes golf outing at Rockville Links Club, died of coronavirus on April 4. Credit: Courtesy Angela Adelis

Nearly 20 years ago, Jim Adelis was given the nickname, "The Lone Ranger," for all the kind works he did for people, often anonymously.

“For the most part he did things and never took credit,” said his son, Jim Jr., on Tuesday. “A lot of people never knew it was him. He did things from the heart and never wanted any recognition.”

Adelis died on April 4 at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital from complications of the coronavirus, his family said. He was 67.

Adelis, of East Rockaway, owned a prominent private security firm, Adelis International Security, that operated largely out of Kennedy Airport.

“My father was my hero because he lost his father when he was 14,” Jim Jr. said. “He wasn’t even a high school graduate, he had to drop out to support the family back then. He turned himself into a very successful businessman on his own.”

When Jim Jr. was deployed to Iraq as an Army specialist in 2003, his father supported his son’s unit on the front lines and remained a constant supporter of the military.

"He had all the connections,” said his son. Jim Jr. said his father was supportive of his unit and sent the platoon food and other supplies.

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Adelis established a Trees for Troops program through Dees' Nursery in Oceanside that sent Christmas trees to the military overseas. Last December marked its 16th year, and a total of 13,000 trees have been sent.

He also was the chairman of the Building Homes for Heroes golf outing at Rockville Links Club, where he has been a member for more than 20 years. That organization, based in Island Park, builds or renovates homes for wounded veterans.

“Jimmy prided himself on being an honest man, that was very important to him. Always do to others what you would want them to do to you,” said his wife of 36 years, Lucy. “That’s what I loved about him, that no one was better than anyone else. He would always say that we all have the same red blood.”

Adelis is survived by his wife and sons, James Jr. and Thomas, all of East Rockaway.  A memorial service will be held later in the year.
 

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