James Richard Weyer
October 20, 1934 – January 2, 2022
James Richard Weyer, 87, passed away peacefully on January 2, 2022 at the Springfield Masonic Community in Springfield, Ohio where he had lived since 2012. He was preceded in death by wife Louise Ann (nee Gulyas) Weyer in 2015. They were married for 61 years.
Jim was born in Cleveland, Ohio to James Ellwood & Orpha Weyer, who both preceded him in death. The Weyer family moved to Toledo, Ohio, where graduated from Macomber High School in 1952.
Jim’s attention to detail led him to an early career as a draftsman for Art Iron Works. His career in photography started as a hobby taking family pictures then blossomed into a full-time profession focusing on commercial, industrial, portrait and product advertising. Weyer Studios thus was formed in 1960 and located on Bancroft Street.
Weyer Studios moved downtown near many clients including O-I, Owens Corning, Libbey Owens Ford and Toledo Electric. During this time, Jim was nominated as one of ten finalists for Toledo’s Outstanding Young Man in 1966.
As business expanded, Weyer Studios moved to a larger facility on Nebraska Avenue which afforded Jim an expanded studio area to perfect his craft. He and Louise then formed Weyer International. During this time Jim was also an active member of the Toledo Rotary Club.
Jim’s attention to detail led him into the world of knife collecting where he became fascinated with custom knife craftsmanship. Finding that knife photography was lacking in detail, Jim utilized the reflectivity lighting technique he developed photographing Libbey glassware to bring out the detail found in custom knives. Knifemakers from all over the world sent their knives to be photographed by him. Jim and Louise traveled to knife shows around the world providing on site photo services. They would distribute the photos to Knife Magazine, Blade Magazine and several other publications helping to launch many a maker’s career. Louise developed a knife book business with how to and who’s who books on the knife making industry.
The knife photography business grew into the publishing of 5 full-color Knives Points of Interest books (KPOI), Living on the Edge book and the Red Walls Black Hats book on an Amish barn raising. The KPOI books gave many knife makers a place to record their place in knife making history. Throughout the KPOI series, collectors can see their makers grow and develop and also give them pride knowing that their knife collections were selected to be featured in these highly collectible books. The books are still available at www.AGRussell.com and have been sold around the world.
Jim was always on the cutting edge of photography. His world firsts included the first color night aerial that focused on downtown Toledo and the twin luminescent tornadoes that struck northern Toledo and Point Place on Palm Sunday in 1965. That photo appeared in Life Magazine and was the subject of many scientific journals. Jim had many photos published in Time and Life Magazines throughout his career.
He also took photos of and met 8 presidents including President Harry Truman, President John Kennedy, President Lyndon Johnson, President Richard Nixon, President Gerald Ford, President Jimmy Carter, President Ronald Reagan and President George W. Bush.
Jim is survived by brother Danny (Cindy) Weyer of Sacramento, CA; children Russ (Betsy) Weyer of Naples, FL, Dawn (Dwayne) Wacenske of Fort Myers, FL, Brian (Evelyn) Weyer of Columbus, OH; grandchildren Kyle (Cara Coble) Weyer of Fort Myers, FL, Ryan (Megan) Weyer of Fort Myers, FL; great grandchild Brooklyn Weyer of Fort Myers, FL; and many nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by sister Lynda (Gary) Smith.
There will be a private interment celebration at Toledo Memorial Gardens at a future date.
The family would appreciate any memorial contributions be made to The Ohio Masonic Foundation; 2655 W. National Dr; Springfield, OH 45504. Or online at www.ohiomasonichomefoundation.org