Over the weekend, James “Jimmy” Shaffer, sales director of Vintage Cigar Distributors of New England, the parent company of the 7-20-4 brand, passed away following a brief illness.

Shaffer had just been named 7-20-4’s sales director in early July; Kurt Kendall, founder of 7-20-4 called Shaffer “a great friend for many years, a true gentleman and man of his word.”

“His charm and wit was such a pleasure to be around,” Kendall told halfwheel. “Jimmy loved his family and friends and was as loyal as they come. I’m so glad we had the chance to work together and spend some real quality time with each other as our Director of Sales for 7-20-4 Cigars. He loved cigars and all the people that were part of it. I’m so fortunate to have had Jimmy as a friend, he’ll be missed by all that knew him.”

Prior to joining 7-20-4, Shaffer served as the national sales director for Nat Sherman International, and had previously held sales roles with Drew Estate and Colibri.

In a Facebook post, Michael Herklots of Ferio Tego called Shaffer “a great man, husband, friend,” noting that they had first met in 2003 and spent nearly 15 years working together, many of those years at Nat Sherman International.

“Jimmy was one of the most generous people I’ve ever known,” Herklots wrote. “He gave relentlessly without ever expecting anything in return. He gave because he loved people, and making people happy, especially his wife Marie Joy, his close family and friends, his customers and his Aikido community. Jimmy was fiercely loyal. He took work and relationships seriously, but had a hellacious sense of humor.”

A viewing will be held on Thursday at Oliverie Funeral Home in Manchester Township, N.J., while a funeral mass will be held on Friday at St. John Church in Lakehurst, N.J.

Photo via Facebook.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.