James “Jim” Phalon, 92, of Woodbury, left the world peacefully, at his home, on March 5, 2020 with his wife Eleanor (much younger BTW) by his side. Born in Newark, NJ on April 5, 1927 to Kathryn and James Phalon Sr., he lived a good, long life.
He grew up a city kid during the Great Depression, never wanting for much and always grateful for what he had. He was a proud graduate of St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark and upon graduation in 1944, at 17 years-old, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy to serve his country aboard the USS YUKON during World War Two. His time in the Navy gave him an opportunity to see the world and sparked within him a love of travel, and a curiosity for people and experiences.
When he returned from the War, he took a “gap” year. Actually, it was more like 18 months, during which time he became a champion body surfer at the Jersey Shore. Eventually, he attended the University of Maryland, on the GI Bill, graduating in 1952. He began his professional career as a deliveryman for Pabst Blue Ribbon, bringing the joy of macro-beer to proto-millennials. He may have drank some as well. Eventually, he settled into a long successful career as a sales account executive for the John R. Lyman Company, from which he officially retired in 1998.
On May 1, 2010, Jim travelled to the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC, with 100 other WWII Veterans, as a guest of the American Warrior program. The day began with a limo, escorted by 16 Harley Davidsons. Along the way, in the airports and at the Memorial, people lined up to honor the bravery, sacrifice and service. It was truly a gift.
He met the love of his life, Eleanor O’Rourke, at a ski resort in New Hampshire in 1960. He claimed he was a ski instructor. He was not. The “line” evidently worked well enough though. The two were married in 1961 and moved to Connecticut to start a family. When the dust settled, they had four children.
Jim is survived by his wife Eleanor (again, much younger, if you skimmed over this part earlier). In addition, Jim will be dearly missed by his children, James T. Phalon and his wife, Adrienne of Novato, CA; Timothy Phalon and his wife Patte of Watertown, CT, Maureen Phalon and her wife Coco Cochran of Austin, Texas, and lastly Patrick Phalon and his wife Dianne of West Hartford, CT.
And while he loved his children, Jim really, really loved his grandkids: Rourke, Kyle, Jack, Grace, Charlotte and the youngest, perhaps wisest, Eleanor “Bird.” Most importantly, they loved “Papa Jim” back.
A special “thank you” to Jim’s exceptionally thoughtful caregivers, Ann, Sharon, Andrea, Amy and Connie (as well as his hospice nurses Tara and Iris). You were all wonderful.
There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Teresa of Avila Church in Woodbury, CT on Friday, March 13th at 11am. Friends may visit from 9:30am to 11am at the Church. In lieu of flowers, we ask that anyone kind enough to consider such an offering to please instead make a donation in Jim’s name to the Office of Advancement, St. Benedict’s Preparatory School, 520 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Newark, NJ 07102-1314 - https://www.sbp.org/giving. Munson Lovetere Funeral Home assisted with the arrangements. To leave an online condolence for the family please visit www.munsonloveterefuneralhome.com
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Office of Advancement, St. Benedict’s Preparatory School
520 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.,, Newark NJ 07102-1314