TBDBITL Alumni Club

The Best Damn Band In The Land - The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni

Dr James Leroy Best

March 16, 1929 – February 10, 2023

Dr. James (Jim) Leroy Best died at the age of 93. Jim was born in Montpelier, Ohio where he spent an idyllic childhood surrounded by loving family. He is preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Zola Flickinger Best, and his sisters, Joan Nolin, Marjorie Priest, Charlotte Culler, and Meredith Best, and brother, Don Franklin Best. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Peggy Patchell Best; his sister, Phyllis (George) Koesterman; and three children, Rebecca Davis, Mary Ann Best, and James P. (Kimberly) Best. Affectionately called Bubba, Jim was a beloved grandfather and great-grandfather who is survived by seven grandchildren, Matthew (Kari) Fullen, Jesse Davis, April (Brandon) Hoard, Jason (Anna) Fullen, Sydney Best, Alexandria Best, and James Joseph Best, as well as seven great-grandchildren, Levi Fullen, Avery Fullen, Jackson Davis, Mia Fullen, Branson Hoard, Eliana Fullen, and Leo Fullen. He was also dearly loved by many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Jim graduated from The Ohio State University in 1951, where he was a proud trumpet player in the Ohio State University Marching Band. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati Medical School in 1955, spent two years as a medical officer in the United States Air Force, and began family medical practice in Findlay, Ohio. He later completed anesthesia training at Los Angeles County Hospital and the Ohio State Medical Center, after which he served on the medical faculty at Ohio State Medical Center for nine years. He then transitioned to Riverside Methodist Hospital where he practiced anesthesia for 25 years, which included terms as Chair of the Departments of Surgery and Anesthesia and President of the Ohio Society of Anesthesiologists.

Throughout his life, Jim was very devoted to his hometown, where he supported many community and school projects, including a college scholarship for Montpelier High School band and music students. In his later years, Jim enjoyed traveling the world with Peggy, annual vacations to California, playing golf, and watching his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes. Jim’s generosity, kindness, and zest for life made him a friend to many, and he will be fondly remembered by the countless people who had the privilege of knowing him. He was a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Upper Arlington, Ohio for over 50 years. Plans for a celebration of life service are still being finalized. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be sent to Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2070 Ridgecliff Road, Columbus, Ohio 43220, or to the Ohio State University Marching Band.

Jim was a member of the marching band from 1948 through 1950. He played Trumpet in B-Row.