Thursday, April 18, 2024

Local Icon ‘Santa Jim,’ the ‘Yankee Candle Santa,’ Passes Away

NEWPORT NEWS — James “Jimmy” Hines Jr. of Newport News, known and beloved locally as the Yankee Candle Santa, passed away unexpectedly on March 30.

In his long career, he also portrayed Santa at Busch Gardens Christmas Town, and when Yankee Candle left the Williamsburg area, the 72-year-old continued portraying Santa for Williamsburg Downtown.

For the man known as “Santa Jim,” it was more than a seasonal occupation.

“Jim’s greatest passion in life was bringing joy and happiness to everyone he met. His greatest joy was his ability to spread the magic of Christmas as Santa. He touched the lives of many throughout his career at Busch Gardens Christmas Town, Yankee Candle, and Downtown Williamsburg as Santa Jim,” according to his obituary. “Christmas was more than just one day a year to Jim, he was Santa every day, it didn’t matter where he was, or the season, if he saw children out and about, Santa Jim would smile and chat with any child that came up to him.”

That passion was evident when WYDaily caught up with Santa for our Ten Questions series last year.

According to his obituary, the family will receive friends on Wednesday, April 3 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Amory Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held at Stevens Memorial Baptist Church on Thursday, April 4 at 1:30 p.m. with a graveside following at 3 p.m. at Peninsula Memorial Park, with fellowship to follow immediately after the graveside service at the church.

Read the full obituary: James “Jimmy” W. Hines, Jr., 72, of Newport News

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