James “Jimmy” Hankinson, of Tallahassee, Florida, departed this life on July 6, 2023, following a hard-fought battle against Glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer.
Jimmy is survived by his wife of 48 years, Allison Burns Hankinson; children, Clay (Jess) Hankinson, Marnie (Byron) Watson, and Jenny (Brad) Slocum; seven grandchildren, Avery, Perry, Cole, Turner, Henry, Charlie and Brooks; sisters, Mary (Russel) Dingman, Margaret Spontak, and sister-in-law, Gail Hankinson. Jimmy was predeceased by parents, John Henry and Shirley Hankinson; brother, Johnny Hankinson; and brother-in-law, Vincent Spontak.
Jimmy was born on July 8, 1952, in Ocala, Florida where he grew up spending summers fishing on Lake Tomahawk in the Ocala National Forest. He attended Davidson College in North Carolina, where he played center on the Davidson Wildcats football team. Following college graduation in 1974, Jimmy married his wife and partner for life, Allison. He taught School in North Carolina before moving to Tallahassee to attend FSU Law School. He graduated with honors in 1978 and remained an avid Seminole fan.
Following law school, Jimmy began his legal career as a prosecutor in Milton, Florida, and returned to Tallahassee in 1981 working for the 2nd Judicial Circuit. In 1991, Jimmy continued his prosecutorial career with the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida. Jimmy was awarded the Director’s award by the US Department of Justice, one of its highest recognitions. In 2002 Jimmy was appointed a circuit judge for the 2nd Judicial Circuit where he presided for the remainder of his legal career.
He loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting, and “working” on his farm, Sycamore. Jimmy implemented the Therapy Dog in the Courtroom Program, volunteered for the FSU Mock Trial competitions, and belonged to the Kiwanis Club. He was an active member and eucharistic minister for Good Shepherd Catholic Church. Despite his demanding career and many activities, he always put family first; coaching, attending countless games, and organizing the next family gathering.
A memorial service will be held at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 4665 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, on Thursday, July 13th at 2 pm. A reception for family and friends will immediately follow the service at the Church Community Center. A family burial will be held at Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Jimmy’s name to Brain Tumor Network (https://www.braintumornetwork.org) or Glioblastoma Research Organization (https://www.gbmresearch.org).