September 18, 1932 - November 17, 2018

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Born on September 18, 1932 in Millersburg, Pennsylvania, James R. Dressler, or “Jim” to those who knew him, lived in Millersburg until his parents moved the family to Greenville, South Carolina and then to Jacksonville, Florida where he graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1950.  From there he attended the University of Florida where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and History in 1953.  As an undergraduate, he was on the Varsity Debating Team, served on the Student Council, and was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity.


He enrolled in the College of Law at the University of Florida in August 1953 and received his law degree on June 4, 1956.


Florida was an all male school until 1946 so there weren’t many girls at UF back in Jim’s days there.  He met his wife, Florence Losco, in Jacksonville while she was attending nursing school, and they married in 1956 and that summer moved to Cocoa, Florida, upon Jim’s graduation from law school.


Upon graduation, Jim already had a job lined up with the firm of Shephard and Dykes in downtown Cocoa, Florida, where he began his law career the summer of 1956.  He later formed the firm of “Dressler, Hosemann and Miller,” and then “Dressler, Thoburn and Miller.”  Thereafter, he maintained a solo practice until his daughter, Donna, joined him in 1989 when she became an attorney.


Jim has tried criminal cases from misdemeanors to capital felonies, civil cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, business relationships, real property, and domestic and family matters.  He was one of the few lawyers who was a “lawyer’s lawyer.”  One of the true “general practitioners”, a great legal mind, a lawyer who could handle wide-ranging and diverse matters and clients.


Jim has served Brevard County in many ways.  In 1960, he was appointed Judge of the Small Claims Court and was Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the creation of Brevard Junior College.  He then served as Chairman of the Board of the College, which college was later known as “Brevard Community College” or “BCC” and which is now known as “Eastern Florida State College.”


When he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1961, He resigned his positions with the College and as a Judge.   He served one term as a Member of the Florida House of Representatives and then ran for and was elected in 1963 as Senator for the 38th senatorial district.  He served one term in the Florida Senate where he was one of the original sponsors of the bill to create Florida Technological University (now known as the University of Central Florida) which University was established June 10, 1963.


Above all else, Jim Dressler was a family man.  His family was his proudest possession and he gave selflessly to them. He was always there whenever needed, and not just for family.  He is survived by his wife, Florence, and their five children:  Donna, Terese, James Jr., Ronald, and Carol, and four grandchildren, Christopher, Darci, Jonathan and Michael.


He was always there for his family, whenever needed.  He touched many lives through his work, helping his clients in their times of need, through his legislative efforts and through his faith.  His clients, too, could and did count on him to help them in their times of need.  He has touched many lives through his work and legislative efforts and has helped many through his faith.

Jim’s abiding faith in God guided him in his family, work and leisure life and he encouraged others to find the peace and hope that come from having faith in and a relationship with God.  We know Jim, husband and father, is with the Lord now and is at peace, loving and remaining with all of us in our hearts and memories.


Services will be on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, at 11:00 am at Divine Mercy Catholic Church on North Courtenay Parkway in Merritt Island, FL