Sleeping Giants Are Amazing

Jan. 13, 2020

Jim Tricoli 1942 – 2020

Sunday morning was unlike any I have experienced before. That was the morning my husband Jim Tricoli, owner and editor of this blog, went home to be with his God.

Jim’s story is very similar to many of our readers. But at his most basic level, he was a man of deep faith and love for his family.  As a first-generation American and the youngest of twelve children, his love of family was a part of his DNA well before 23 and Me was even a thing.  When it came to family, there was never a question of cost or resources, he just needed to hear about someone in need and he was there.

In many ways, Jim was the magician of the family.  No problem was too big or too small to overcome or solve, he would always find a way to make it happen. It was the way he approached everything in his life; raise a family on two teachers salaries and occasional food stamps, check; pay for two children to attend college, check; survive a heart attack at 40, cancer at 60, and everything in between, check, check, check; attend almost every town board meeting for the past 30 years, CHECK!  The man was a machine driven by a clear sense of right and wrong; the physical manifestation of the conscience so often missing in today’s “most spin wins” culture.

This blog was one of the primary tools he used to give voice to those who couldn’t speak for themselves and the concerns of the citizens who didn’t have his platform.  He never asked for money or fame or any recognition beyond knowing the truth was exposed and those trying to hide it, or hide from it, were held accountable. Jim proved what Speaker Tip O’Neill made famous when he said “…all politics are local”.  And now that voice has forever gone silent.  That voice, which was a lion and never backed away from doing the right thing, impacted so many of us to be better versions of ourselves and not settle for mediocrity.

For those of you who’ve had the opportunity to know Jim personally, we want you to know how much he loved and cared for you and your friendship.  It meant so much to him to talk and learn about people of all walks of life and learn your stories and how he could help.

He worked at many jobs before he finally decided to go to college, Canisius. Upon graduation, he took a teaching job with BOCES until his retirement due to a disability. He began attending Town Board meetings and became deeply involved in various issues that were being contested at the time. Politics were always a keen attraction for him. He even worked for John Kennedy when he ran for President in the 60’s.

When Jim retired he was still young and decided to write a blog that he named the Amhersttimes. That happened in the early 2000s and he posted stories on it every day until now.

Through the years he exposed many wrongdoings and was proud of the ‘wrongs’ he could help turn into ‘rights.’ He loved living in Amherst and did all he could to help it evolve into to best town it could be.

Jim is survived by his wife Margaret (Davis), his sons Jeffrey (Maria Rivera) and Joseph (Linda Dees) and his sister Mary Bertola. He has 5 grandchildren: Emily and Daniel Dees, Gabriella, Dante and Dominic Tricoli as well as many nieces and nephews.

Jim will be missed by many family members and friends. God grant you rest and peace.

A memorial service will be held at 9:30 on Saturday Jan. 18, 2020 at Ss. Peter & Paul RC church on Main St. in Williamsville.

22 Responses to “Sleeping Giants Are Amazing”

  1. Judy says:

    Thank you for the beautiful, inspiring tribute to Jim, who was himself inspiring.

    Always knew he was the best friend the Amherst residents could ever wish to have. He was an unflinching, steadfast advocate for the regular Amherst residents, protecting them, their property and their best interests from the onslaught of inappropriate development and the entities that foster it.

    His heart and intentions were always in the right place, however harsh, at times.
    He will be sorely missed.

    RIP dear friend.

  2. Joe says:


  3. Phil says:

    Someone who really cared about the important issues….and he always seemed to be on the right side.
    I hope The Amherst Times somehow continues.
    JIm Tricoli’s family must be so proud of him and his work.

  4. Dawn says:

    He was passionate and had his comical side, too. Jim will be missed, tremendously. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. May his soul, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

  5. Marc says:

    Jim fought for what he knew to be right, regardless of those who tried to shut him down. He was the epitome of “tireless advocate” and he will be greatly, greatly missed. Love and prayers to you and your family.

  6. Ed McKee says:

    Dear Margaret and all family members:
    Just moments ago I received the news about Jim. Frankly, I am lost for words to express my condolences to you Margaret, your children and to all those Jim felt deeply about. Admittedly, this would be a long list. Even to those Jim would frustrate at times, to a man, none would deny that was a bit of an icon in the Amherst community. Amherst town board meetings will never be the same. His website, if it does not continue in some fashion was something unique for our town and will be deeply missed.

  7. jjtric says:

    Thank you, Ed. I appreciate your comment. Jim thought very highly of you. We are completely lost and so frustrated by his sudden passing. I will miss him dearly.

  8. jjtric says:

    Thank you Marc. You were very kind and helpful to Jim and he always knew he could count on you. Have a blessed day.

  9. jjtric says:

    Thank you for your prayerful wishes. I appreciate them.

  10. jjtric says:

    He certainly did care about Amherst and tried to do his best for the town and the people. My sons and I are very proud of him, as we always have been. Now he can finally rest in the arms of our Lord.

  11. jjtric says:

    Thank you for being a loyal reader. Jim would be so pleased to know that.

  12. jjtric says:

    Judy, you are such a kind person. Jim really loved helping you and your group to the best of his ability always. I will miss him more than I can say. Thank you for your kindness and help as I dealt with my surgery while he could not be with me. You are one in a million.

  13. Paul Wolf says:

    When I put forth the effort to form the Amherst Open Government Advisory Board and the Buffalo Niagara Coalition for Open Government, Jim was very supportive and volunteered his time to be involved with both.

    Jim was a big proponent of open government. We often sparred at meetings as we had a different way of approaching things but at the end of the day we were both seeking to get to the same place.

    I wish more people took the time to pay attention to local government, to volunteer their time and to speak up the way Jim did.

  14. Deb Norton says:

    A wonderful summary of a life well lived. The Town will be poorer for the loss of a voice always willing to speak truth to power.

  15. jjtric says:

    Thank you Deb. His passion for this town was immense.

  16. Sam says:

    Jim Tricoli was the personification of “if you see something, say something” when it came to the activities of Amherst town government. He spoke truth to power as only he could do. I always cheered him on while watching the televised board meetings because I was unable to attend them in person. Jim and a few others are tough enough, selfless enough, concerned enough to attend the boring meetings with pre-determined outcomes.

    Jim was the true public servant. He worked tirelessly for ordinary people asking for nothing in return. He and his website have been a blessing for the citizens of Amherst.

    Rest in peace, Jim Tricoli. You did it your way for the benefit of all of us. That’s your legacy.

  17. jjtric says:

    I am grateful for your kind words and am so very proud of Jim and the way he lived his life. His legacy is precious to me.

  18. Tom Jones says:

    I am so sorry for your family’s loss. Jim was a very good man with the ability to keep people honest. You can imagine how many times I had to answer to him while I was Town Attorney. The Town will be “poorer for the loss of his voice.”

  19. jjtric says:

    How kind of you to share that comment. I know he often went off to town hall to ‘chat’ with you among others. His goal was always making things better for Amherst and the residents. I am thankful for your message.

  20. jjtric says:

    He did indeed love volunteering on those committees. He may not have agreed with you on some pieces but he did agree that both groups were important for our town and the area. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Lynne says:

    Jim’s death is a huge loss, not only for his family and friends but also the town and its people, in general.

    I always went to the Amherst Times to get unvarnished, unambiguous Amherst news, free from the mumbo-jumbo typically fed to uninformed people as they watched their property being devalued and placed in jeopardy from overdevelopment in their neighborhoods.

    It must have been difficult to stay on top of the predetermined outcomes for so many years.
    Jim’s are big shoes to fill.

  22. jjtric says:

    Thank you Lynne, for the lovely comment. He was so determined to do his best for Amherst every day and he took great pride in staying independent. Never took a penny from anyone for a “favor” not did he put any ads on the site. Such pride is truly lost yet I know his legacy is strong.