James Dashiell

Obituary of James Raymond Dashiell

In Loving Memory


James (Jim) Raymond Dashiell, born November 30, 1947 in Evanston, Illinois, passed away peacefully in his sleep on February 2, 2023, in Chandler, Arizona, to join his beloved bride, Valerie, in Heaven. He is survived by his son, Branden James Dashiell; his daughter and son-in-law, Courtney and Ray Lorentz; his adoring grandchildren, Audrey and Whitney; his loving brother and sister, Tom Dashiell and Harriet Rose, and his sister-in-law, Kimberly Albrecht, and their families; as well as his many admiring nieces and nephews.


Jim and Val were married on April 1, 1972 and enjoyed 50 years of fun, adventure, and love in one another’s company. Many friends and acquaintances have remarked that Jim and Val showed through example what true and lasting love is. Once, while driving together, “La Vie en Rose,” by Edith Piaf, came on the radio: Val told Jim to pull over and stop the car to dance by the side of the road. They are now dancing together again. 


Jim attended Birmingham Groves High School in Michigan. He received his undergraduate and law school degrees from the University of Michigan and started practicing law the same year that he and Val were married. A talented litigator, Jim practiced law for over 50 years: in Michigan, Illinois, and Arizona. He faithfully and zealously served his clients with professionalism, dedication, and compassion. Those who knew him best did not consider him their attorney, but rather a “dear friend.”


Jim enjoyed sailing and loved being out on the water. He and Val enthusiastically traversed the ports of Lake Michigan from Racine, Wisconsin to Holland, Michigan. One particularly daring and memorable sailing moment involved Jim captaining his young family through a vicious lake storm and gale force winds into safe harbor–all without a functioning radio! 


At heart however, Jim was a philosopher. A brilliant, lithe, and agile thinker, he engaged those around him with countless lively and inspiring conversations about the nature of the mind, the power of human consciousness, and what he would refer to as the “overarching morality” of the Universe. Jim authored a superior and thought-provoking book, Emergent Thinking: Beyond Materialism and the Information Age, about the nature of thought itself and the critical importance of prioritizing depth of meaning to surface level facts. In 2018, Jim had the honor of being a featured speaker at the Science of Consciousness Conference at the University of Arizona in Tucson, alongside such paragons of philosophy as Noam Chomsky and Roger Penrose. 


Jim was a kind and generous soul. He felt a great deal of love for the world at large and lived his philosophy of eschewing purely materialistic pursuits. In this spirit, those who wish to express sympathy in lieu of flowers may consider making a donation to St. Mary’s Food Bank, which serves the hungry in Arizona. https://www.firstfoodbank.org/give/





11:00 am

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Risen Savior Lutheran Church

23914 S. Alma School Road

Chandler, Arizona, United States

The service will be held in the traditional sanctuary. (This is in the church to the south of the administrative building.)


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A Memorial Tree was planted for James
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Legacy Funeral Home - Rose Chapel
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