Jim was fully devoted to the masonry industry. He was a third-generation brick mason who came to Gainesville in 1957 alongside his father, who came to work on Williamson Hall - the first of many jobs on the University of Florida campus the Painter family would work on over his lifetime.
In 1968, Painter Masonry, Inc. was founded. Over the course of over 40 years with Painter Masonry, Jim worked alongside his father Abe and brother Jerry by setting the standard of quality masonry for commercial, industrial and institutional buildings throughout North Central Florida, including countless buildings at the University of Florida.
Jim loved the city of Gainesville. He served his beloved community as a City Commissioner from 1990-1996 and served as mayor 1993-1996. While he was mayor, Gainesville was awarded “America’s Most Livable City” by Money Magazine. He gave of his time and talent to many organizations, including Santa Fe College Endowment Corporation, the Corporate Advisory Board for The Villages Senior Living Community, Alachua-Bradford County Workforce Development Board, the Gainesville Jaycees, the Gainesville Elks Lodge, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Builders Association of North Central Florida, the Florida Home Builders Association, and the Girls Club of Alachua County.
He continued to advocate for his industry as the Executive Director of the Florida Concrete Masonry Education Council. Jim played a pivotal role in getting the Concrete Block Checkoff Program passed through Florida’s state legislature. He had many additional career accomplishments, such as being the first masonry contractor to receive the Florida Home Builders Association Builder of the Year Award and the Masonry Association of Florida’s Chairman’s award, both in 2013.
Jim knew no stranger. He was a public servant, a friend and confidant to many, and a tireless businessman. When he was not working, he most enjoyed spending time with his family, traveling the country, seeing the sunrise at the beach, and watching any Florida Gator game. He will be tremendously missed.
Preceding him in death were his parents Abraham and Etoile (Granny Toad) Painter as well as many beloved aunts and uncles. Jim is survived by his wife Elise Hitchcock, his brother, Jerry Painter, sister, Nancy (Michael) Clayton, daughters Alison (Graham) Glover and Page (David) Gritte and his greatest joy and inspiration, his grandchildren: Hannah Grace Glover, Graham “Gray” Glover, Jr., Caroline Jane Gritte and Henry Stewart Gritte.
A memorial service will be held in The Lyceum at Santa Fe College on Sunday, January 22, 2023, at 3:00pm. All those who wish to join in honoring Jim are welcome to attend.
A special thank you to his oncology and clinical trial teams at UF Health Gainesville and Jacksonville and especially to the MICU staff at UF Health Shands Hospital for their overwhelming commitment to helping Jim’s fight.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Jim’s memory to the Abraham and Etoile Painter Scholarship Fund at Santa Fe College, 3000 NE 83rd Street F-207, Gainesville, FL 32606 or at www.sfcollege.edu/foundation/donation. Please visit his memorial page at www.williamsthomasfuneralhome.com.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Posted online on January 17, 2023
Published in Gainesville Sun