Remembering ‘Yamma Yamma’

James “Yamma Yamma” Fleming, who graduated from UM in 1968 and has been a presence on the sidelines at Hurricane football games since then, died of a heart attack at Southwest Regional Medical Center in Fort Myers on Feb. 27. He was 61.

He received the nickname “Yamma Yamma” after leading a cheer by that same name at Hurricane events for almost three decades, according to an excerpt in the Alumni Association e-mail newsletter.

Fleming was born and raised in Rochester, N.Y. He graduated from UM in 1968 with a degree in sales and marketing. He was a former cheerleader and a member of Iron Arrow.

He moved to Fort Myers in 1972 where he opened an advertising firm.

A long time resident of Lehigh Acres, located east of Fort Myers, Fleming was a past president of the Lehigh Acres Community Planning Corp.

Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Fleming chairman of the East County Water Control District in 1999. On Feb. 18, 2006, he announced his candidacy for the Florida House of Representatives, District 73.

Fleming is survived by his wife, Charlotte Marie, their four children and four grandchildren.

His funeral service was held on March 4 at St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church in Lehigh Acres.

Greg Linch can be contacted at