James “Jim” Rollins ’66

It is with great sadness that the family of James (Jim) Herrell Rollins, announces that he passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on July 15, 2022. Jim was born November 6, 1944 in Winfield, Kansas to Richard and Marie (Merritt) Rollins of Clarksdale, Mississippi. Jim grew up in Clarksdale, graduating from Clarksdale High School before enrolling at Davidson College in North Carolina.

In high school and college Jim was not only an outstanding athlete in football for four years, but earned numerous academic honors. Awarded a ROTC scholarship at Davidson, Jim completed his undergraduate degree in 1966 and entered Law School at the University of Virginia, receiving his law degree in 1969. His legal career was delayed by three years while he served as a captain in the U.S. Army in Artillery Units at both Fort Bliss, Texas and later Bitburg, Germany.

Once honorably discharged from the army, Jim accepted a position at an Atlanta law firm. After years of mergers and acquisitions, he joined the Creditor’s Rights Group of the Atlanta office of Holland & Knight as a partner, specializing in the representation of lenders. Living in Atlanta for over 40 years, Jim was active in numerous civic and charitable organizations and was proud of his involvement with the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and Olmsted Linear Park Alliance.

Jim retired from the practice of law in 2017 and moved with his wife, Jill, to North Yarmouth, Maine. Once again Jim took up the cause of historic preservation giving many hours as a trustee and pro bono advisor to Maine Preservation. During his years in Maine, he often joked that he never witnessed winter weather in Atlanta or Clarksdale like Maine, but that the contrasting summer weather certainly made the move worth it. With L.L. Bean only a few miles up the road, Jim was fully prepared for every chill, freeze and thaw Maine presented.

In retirement he celebrated taking leave of his wristwatch and growing a healthy, silver beard. Jim and Jill enjoyed occasional stays at their beach home in St. Augustine, Florida, but truly preferred the quiet, fresh forest surrounding their home in Maine.

Jim was an avid fan of all sports Atlanta, especially the Braves and Falcons. He continued his love for playing rugby during law school as a member of the Atlanta Rugby Football Club for many years. Memories and warm messages from friends, professional colleagues and rugby teammates have warmed the hearts of Jim’s family.

He is survived by his wife, Jillian S. Kaechele of North Yarmouth, ME, and St. Augustine, FL; and his children: Jameson Graef Rollins of Los Angeles; and Stefan Adam Rollins (Coral) of Miami; and his sister, Virginia Rollins Hopkins (Jody) of Memphis. Jim also leaves two step-daughters, Beth Kaechele Poole (Andrew) and Erin Kaechele Giberson (Dustin); and a host of step-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Jim cherished many fun times with his five step-grandchildren, Ladia, Brynn, Caroline, Greta and Ripley.

A remembrance celebration for Jim will be held on November 5, 2022 at Manuel’s in Atlanta. This would have been Jim’s 78th birthday weekend and his family hopes that friends, former colleagues and rugby buddies will join them in celebrating the gift of time they spent with Jim.

A friend captured Jim beautifully in his recent condolence message: “Jim was an inspired soul. So calm, so brilliant, so insightful.” Well-read, always fun to be with and the essence of a kind Southern gentleman, Jim Rollins will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Gifts in Jim’s name may be sent to Maine Preservation, P.O. Box 488, Yarmouth, ME 04096.