James “Jim” Phalon

WOODBURY — James “Jim” Phalon, 92, of Woodbury, left the world peacefully, at his home, Thursday, March 5, 2020, with his wife Eleanor (much younger BTW) by his side.

Born in Newark, N.J., 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 II.

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 drunk 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 traveled to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., 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 their 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, Calif.; Timothy Phalon and his wife, Patte, of Watertown, Maureen Phalon and her wife, Coco Cochran, of Austin, Texas, and lastly Patrick Phalon and his wife, Dianne, of West Hartford.

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.

A Mass of Christian Burial took place March 13 at St. Teresa of Avila Church in Woodbury. Arrangements were by Munson Lovetere Funeral Home. 

In lieu of flowers, anyone kind enough to consider such an offering is asked 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, N.J. 07102-1314 — https://www.sbp.org/giving.

To leave an online condolence for the family, visit www.munsonloveterefuneralhome.com.

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