Cover photo for James Feeney's Obituary
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1934 James 2022

James Feeney

January 15, 1934 — October 25, 2022

James “Jim” William Feeney was born a first generation Irish-American on January 15, 1934. His mother, Helena and father, John, were the parents of six boys (James, Patrick, Michael, Tommie (D), John (D), and Toby (D)) and two girls (Mary (D) and Bernadette (D)). James grew up in Roxbury and shined shoes with his brothers on the Boston Common for spending money. In high school, James loved woodworking. After high school, James spent time in the US Army in Texas (where he learned to call girls pretty in Spanish). After the army, he got a job in the warehouse at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he worked for the next 51 years. James took great pride in his work, waking up very early to listen to the news on the radio, drink coffee and travel there by “T.” A true Bostonian, James was a model of an honest, hard-working, straight shooter who demonstrated unfailing loyalty to all he loved. Of course, he was also a big Red Sox fan. James valued family above all else. An ordinary man who made life extraordinary for everyone he met. He was a caretaker of his mother, brother John and sister Mary, and an amazing father to two girls, Julie and Margo. James supported the girls’ every endeavor, even if it took him way out of his comfort zone. James traveled to Japan to visit Julie (where he only ate ice cream). James took the girls to cheer at the Boston Marathon and was proud when his daughters became runners. Margo, in particular, he cheered on as she became a great runner and charity fundraiser for Team Fox in his honor. A great sport, James was known to lead family dance parties and even don an occasional wig. He was also a proud uncle to Daniel and Rebecca and loved his sister-in-law Cynthia and her husband Bruce and his numerous nieces and nephews. An everyday hero, James remarkably saved our family and two others from a fire when he woke everyone up to flee to safety. Later in life, James showed leadership in the Big and Loud program at Banner Health where he faithfully completed all his voice exercises (with great excitement!) and at Benevilla in the adult day program where he helped other seniors feel included. In the end, James’ life was really a great love story. He met his wife, Francine, while at work. Ever crafty, he hid his age (8 years older!) so that she would date him. With his bright blue eyes, dark hair, lanky 6 foot frame and beautiful smile, he was hard to resist. Together for over 50 years, this unlikely couple of an Irish Catholic from Roxbury and a Jewish American from Maine got married and grew together as a family. James and Francine raised Julie and Margo to go to college and go on adventures, to strive to make life better for those around them and to value family above all else. James was very taken by his grandson Finn and son-in-law Anthony. He and Finn spent their moments reading books about trucks, singing songs and enjoying each other’s company to the fullest. James passed away peacefully after a battle with Parkinson’s disease, surrounded by the love of his family, while they sang the family theme song “You are my sunshine.” True to who he was until the very end, James waited until the whole family was together to leave us. He will be with us always in our hearts. We know that he will live on in everyone he knew because he was so loved. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to Benevilla (Mary's Place) 623-584-4999 and spend time with the people you consider your family. Information about a celebration of life in the Boston area will be forthcoming.
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