Passing of James "Jim" Gaede

Passing of James "Jim" Gaede

James “Jim” Gaede passed away peacefully on Memorial Day, May 31 after a long battle with ALS. His battle with ALS showed his courage in facing life’s challenges with a smile and dignity. Despite the pain, Jim came out a hero and stayed strong until the end.

Jim was born on March 13, 1940, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a 1958 graduate of St. Xavier High School, a 1962 graduate of the University of Notre Dame where he was chief announcer on WSND and president of the Cincinnati Club. Upon his graduation from Notre Dame, he was commissioned as second lieutenant in the United States Army.

Jim is survived by his wife, Patricia “Patti” Bedford Roberts Gaede and his children, Tracy Gaede Niehaus, Todd (Annie) Gaede, Scott Gaede and Chris Gaede, his stepson, Bill (Amy) Roberts, and 6 grandchildren, Cameron, Brennan, Charlie, Rachel, Caroline, and Quinn. He is also survived by his sister, Shirley Gaede Speaks and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Ted and MaryLou Bedford and nieces and nephews, Jeff (Elyse) Speaks, Megan (Tom) Anderson, Whitney Bedford (Barton Jahneke) and Evan Bedford. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bernard and Helen Gaede, brother-in-law, Joseph Speaks and first wife, Sarah “Sally” Ryan Gaede.

In 1964, Jim began his career on the staff of WANE Radio before moving to WLYV Radio, both of which were in Fort Wayne, IN. A job at WUBE Radio brought him back to Cincinnati, his hometown. From there he moved to a position in the sales department of WLW Radio as an account executive. In 1968 he moved to a similar position at WKRC Radio. On September 1, 1970, Jim accepted a position with Arthur Frey Associates as a manufacturer’s representative for several lines of office furniture and equipment.

Over the next fifty years, Jim was instrumental in helping the company grow from its original origin as a regional rep group, to being a larger part of a national entity. The company was rebranded Frey Gaede & Company as it started to expand its geographical footprint. From 1999 to 2008, Jim played a large role in the company’s acquisition of four peer rep groups that expanded Frey Gaede’s territory to twenty-five states. In 2011, Jim was part of the ownership team that formed Harbinger National, a national manufacturer’s representative entity. Jim also served on various industry boards and panels during his career, most notable as President of the Office Products Representative Alliance (OPRA) from 1993-1995.

Jim was also the recipient of numerous industry awards during his career. He was the proudest of two that he received with his long-time business partner John Frey, Sr.:

  • 2016 Leadership Award from the Business Solutions Association – For Excellence In The Business and Office Products Industry
  • 2019 Founder’s Distinguished Service Award presented by Fellowes Brands

Jim volunteered for many years at Cincinnati Association for the Blind, performing radio reading services on the topic of health, as well as volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cincinnati. Jim was an avid golfer, over the years he was a member at Hyde Park Golf & Country Club, The Camargo Club and Orchid Island Golf and Beach Club in Vero Beach, FL. As part of his commitment to giving back, Jim also held many Board positions for Orchid Island that included being President of the Board from 2017-2019.

Jim was exceedingly proud of his family and will be greatly missed by Patti, his children, grandchildren and sister.

Family will receive visitors Friday, June 4, from 4-7 p.m. at Geo. H. Rohde & Son Funeral Home, 3183 Linwood Ave., 45208. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, June 5 at 12 Noon at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 2501 Riverside Dr., 45202. Mass will be streaming LIVE for those unable to attend, please visit and select ‘watch live’.

Condolences can be expressed to the family at The family suggests donations be made to the following entities that were near and dear to Jim’s heart:

The ALS Association Central and Southern Ohio Chapter
1170 Old Henderson Road, Suite 221, Columbus, OH 43220 |

Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
2045 Gilbert Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45202 |

Friday, June 4, 2021 from 4:00-7:00 pm ET
Geo. H. Rohde & Son Funeral Home, 3183 Linwood Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45208

Mass of Christian Burial
Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 12:00 pm ET
St. Rose Church, 2501 Riverside Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Mass will be streaming LIVE for those unable to attend, please visit and select ‘watch live’.

Business Solutions Association (BSA)
3601 East Joppa Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21234
(410) 931-8100 | [email protected]

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