Jim Pace had a way of making people feel comfortable, whether he was investigating them for a crime or selling antiques. With a disarming sense of humor and a thirst for knowledge, Mr. Pace enjoyed getting to know more about the people he met.
“He would ask questions, a lot of questions,” said Margot Pace, his wife of 44 years. “And if there was something he didn’t know or understand, he would look it up.”
A lover of technology, Mr. Pace spent the last three years buying and selling electronics and antiques. He started selling over the Internet and then moved to a storefront in Hampton, where he remained until his health would no longer allow him work.
James Kirk Pace, widely known as Jim, of Hampton, died Wednesday, at Vitas Hospice in Stockbridge, from complications of liver cancer. He was 65. His body was cremated and a memorial service was held Saturday at the American Legion in Jonesboro. SouthCare Cremation and Funeral Society, Stockbridge, was in charge.
Mr. Pace grew up in Osceola Ark., and joined the military after high school. He had aspirations of being a professional football player, his wife said, but he got hurt and decided to join the Army instead. He spent 21 years in the Army before retiring in 1987, and during that time his family traveled the world.
“Usually every three years we’d move,” said his daughter Natalie Pace, of Sandy Springs. “From Germany to Oklahoma to Pennsylvania, back to Germany. And he always tried to move back to Germany when possible, because of my mother’s family.”
The Pace family came to the Atlanta area in 1987, when Mr. Pace took a civilian job with the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, commonly known as CID. He worked there for 18 years, before retiring in 2005, said his son, James Kai Pace, who lives in Amsterdam. It was after his second retirement from the Army that Jim Pace decided to delve into the world of selling electronics, antiques and collectables.
“He started on eBay,” James Pace said of his father. “Then he decided he wanted to have a store instead of just sell everything online.”
There was an antiques store in Hampton that he would frequent, and the owner was looking to make a career change, his wife said. The two worked out an agreement and in 2010, Mr. Pace took over the store. Although he had no formal training in art history or antiques, he was very knowledgeable in both areas, his wife said. She said her husband was fascinated by books and read almost anything he could get his hands on, which included material on art and antiques.
“He enjoyed going to the estate sales and looking for things for customers,” Mrs. Pace said. “And he had a good sense about what would appeal to the people who came to the store.”
He knew so much about what the customers wanted because he would take the time and talk with them, a skill he perfected while in the military, his family said.
“You know if he was investigating someone, he’d try to get to know them first,” his wife said. “So he’d talk to them, much like I guess he would a customer, just without the investigation.”
In addition to his wife, son and daughter, Mr. Pace is survived by his sister, Callie Adams of Osceola, Ark.; and brothers, Hugh Allen Pace of Phoenix, Ariz., and Golden Pace of Cave City, Ark.