WEST MIDDLESEX, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – Maleia Patricia (Patti) James, 69, of West Middlesex, Pennsylvania, passed away on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, after a courageous, three-year battle with cancer.
Maleia dedicated her life to helping her community of West Middlesex and stray animals. Her hobbies included her cat family, kayaking and canoeing, carpentry, art and historic preservation.
She was a loving and giving friend who will be greatly missed by many. The family is very grateful for all of her loved ones, friends and Cleveland Clinic staff who supported her in her final days.
She leaves behind a daughter, Chrissy Arduini (West Middlesex) and a sister, Linda James (Minnesota). She also leaves a half-sister, Judy Marrie (Georgia); half-brother, David C. James (Mary Ann) (Hermitage) and many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Mary Christina Cinicola; father, David T. James, Jr. and a half-sister, Marsha Fioramonti.
Maleia was a 1969 graduate of Hickory High School. After graduating, she studied nursing and worked as an RN for many years and eventually went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Instead of teaching nursing as originally planned, she earned an MBA and become a Pharmaceutical Rep for five years before retiring.
Maleia was passionate about protecting all animals, especially cats. She started a 501C3 cat charity called Cat Landers, created mainly for the well-being and placement of stray cats in the West Middlesex Borough. Through her compassion and dedication, she was able to rescue and find homes for hundreds of homeless cats in her community over the past 30 years. She also helped many other lost or injured animals of all species find their owners or receive the care they needed. She led the effort to raise funds for the Shenango Township Police Department to acquire a bullet-proof vest and training for their police dog. She also served on the original board of directors for the non-profit Tails of Hope and served on committees for the Shenango Valley Animal Shelter, including a fund-raising committee for the new animal shelter building.
Although she was not born and raised in West Middlesex, she was very committed and dedicated to her West Middlesex community. She was elected as a Council member for a four year term in 2015 and appointed again in 2020 for another year and half term. She was the founder and President of the West Middlesex Historical Society and established a museum of historical items from the early history of West Middlesex. She was also a long-time member of the Mercer County Historical Society. She served on many West Middlesex Borough celebration committees, including the 150th anniversary in 2014 and the new bridge committee. Her name, along with others, is inscribed on a plaque on the side of the bridge. She led the effort to try to save and preserve the former Hutchison one-room school house. Maleia’s friend Bob Lark, who served with her on the West Middlesex Borough Council, said, “Although small in stature, Maleia was a powerful presence for good in the community of West Middlesex for many years and although gone, she will not soon be forgotten.”
Memorial contributions can be sent to Cat Landers, P.O. Box 27, West Middlesex, PA 16159, where they will be utilized for the care of her cat charity’s remaining cats and future cat needs. A tax I.D. # can be provided for donations upon request.
A celebration of Maleia’s life will be held at a later date.
Arrangements handled by John Flynn Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.
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A television tribute will air Friday, February 26 at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV.