Charlie, Jim's brother, gave this moving eulogy at his funeral on Thursday 12/5/13.
We are here for my brother Jimmy this morning. He was always a quiet guy even as we grew up in Throggs Neck in the sixties. He did not seek to be the center of attention and was always comfortable in his own company. Never a great athlete but he loved to read. The world doesnt always reward the quiet, average guy and I'm sure that he wondered, as he grew up what the world had in store for him. He was an uncomplicated soul.
Its easy to imagine the sense of accomplishment that comes from a life spent gathering wealth. Or the acknowledgment that comes from seeking advancement through the ranks of a large corporation. Even an athlete as he wins his competitions. There are obvious validations in those things. Jimmy did not seek out those things. He had more modest aspirations. He hoped to find someone who loved him and he could love back. He found that in Francie, his beautiful wife. And Francie, you made him the happiest man in the world because of that.
I remember one of the first times I met Francie., it was a pool party at Joanie and Mikes home. Somehow me and Mike got it into our heads to pick Jimmy up and throw him into the pool. Jimmy tried to put up a fight but we had him up and were marching over to the edge. Here came Francie running from the patio and she tore into us. She hardly knew any of us but no one was going to hurt her Jimmy!!! Oh to be loved that deeply!. And Francie you know he loved you. His love for his wife gave honor to all the work he did. The completion of his dreams came with the arrival of his daughter Rebecca. He was a great father.
These uncomplicated things are what made Jimmy special. Here was a man who actually got all that he ever wished for. A wife who he could love so completely and who would love him. A family and a job that he gave him a sense of accomplishment. I heard from co-workers that even when they had to call him at 2 in the morning he would just say “Okay, what did you do?” and then tell them how to fix it or come in without a harsh word being said. This Sunday was no different. He was going to work on a Sunday. He had been doing this for over thirty years. He was providing for his dream, his family. And he knew and appreciated all his blessings. He gave back to the world. This accident was just not fair.
He will be missed. He leaves a hole in the world. This uncomplicated guy made this a better world. We cannot accept his passing but yet here we are. I can say this, the world is a little less special without our Jimmy in it.