Growing up in downtown Charleston, he was known for his athletic skills playing football and baseball at local parks and for the High School of Charleston. As a senior, he was one of the premier football players in the state. He was chosen to play for South Carolina in the Shrine Bowl.
After high school, he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and he also played professional baseball for the then Boston Braves minor league baseball franchise.
After an injury ended his baseball career, he returned to Charleston and entered the heating and air conditioning industry with a job at Charleston Oil Co. He remained with Chasonoil until 1981 when he co-founded the family business Morelli Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. with his wife and son Tony.
He retired as president of the company in 1992 while remaining as Chairman Emeritus and visiting the office on a daily basis until he was no longer able to do so.
He was an avid golfer and could be found on the course or in the clubhouse of Charleston Municipal Golf Course most days. His love of golf and being at the course led to a job as a ranger at Muni on Wednesdays up until 2011.
Jim was a faithful Catholic and daily communicant at Blessed Sacrament Church, former member of Nativity Church and long time member of Sacred Heart Church. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus #704 Thomas P. Lynch.
The family would like to give special thanks to the wonderful caregivers of ResCare Home Care, particularly to Allison Coaxum for her love and caring devotion to our father.
He was predeceased by his wife of 56 years Joyce Lloyd Morelli; his parents, Joseph and Ruth Morelli; a brother, Larry Morelli and a sister, Ruth Treat Jones. He is survived by six children: Ken Morelli (Michelle), Gary Morelli (Lee), Anthony/Tony Morelli (Joyce), John Morelli (Eda), Angela/Angel Prince (Rick) and Andrew/Andy Morelli (Lisa), 15 grandchildren: Stuart (Amy), Steven (Julie), Kevin, Matt, Mary, Frank, Amanda, Annalise and Payton Morelli, Melanie (Joseph) Powers, Betsy (Corey) Keeler, Natalie (Josh) Waters, and Michael, Amelia and Riley Prince; two step-grandchildren: Stuart and Elliot Miller; and three great-grandchildren, one sister-in-law Doris Lloyd and numerous nieces and nephews.
A rosary will be held at McALISTER-SMITH FUNERAL Home, West Ashley Chapel, on Thursday, April 18 at 5:30pm with a visitation following from 6-9pm.
The funeral Mass will be held on Friday, April 19 at 10:00am at Sacred Heart Church, 888 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403. Burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, James Island, SC.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Sacred Heart Church Capital Improvement Fund, 888 King St., Charleston, SC 29403 or the American Heart Association, 409 King St., Ste 300, Charleston, SC 29403.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McALISTER-SMTH FUNERAL HOME, 2501 Bees Ferry Rd., Charleston, SC 29414