Peabody — Thomas F. James Jr., 85, of Peabody, formerly of Bedford, passed away peacefully on January 16, at the Veteran’s Hospital in Bedford, after a courageous 22-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Born in Somerville, he was the son of the late Thomas F. James Sr. and Helen (Callahan) James. He graduated from Somerville High School in 1946, and subsequently served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Alaska. After his discharge, he enrolled at East Coast Aero Tech, graduating in 1950.
He began his aviation career with Sylvania Corporation, servicing their private airplane, a DC3. When Sylvania joined with General Telephone and Electronics, Tom began a long and successful, 30-year career with G.T.E., his last role being service chief for their beautiful fleet of executive airplanes. His position took him to many areas of the country. During those years, he attended several aviation schools and acquired a vast knowledge of all types of aircraft.
While his children attended Bishop Fenwick High School, Tom became a faithful member of the Bishop Fenwick Boosters Club. This was a group of dedicated parents, all great friends, who worked very hard to fund the entire sports program.
He retired from G.T.E. in 1986, after which he enjoyed traveling, cruising, gardening, and just spending time with his family.
He will be remembered for his quiet, kind nature, his willingness to help others, his love of his profession, and his dedication to his family and friends.
He leaves his wife of 59 years, Patricia (Furdon) James; his daughters, Kathleen Dugan and Eileen James, both of Peabody; and his sons, Stephen of Hamilton and Christopher of Hampton, Ga. He also leaves four grandsons, Ryan Pike of Peabody, Paul Dugan of North Carolina, and Michael James and Scott James, both of Georgia; and four great-grandchildren, Madison, Anna, Grayson, and Rebecca James. He was predeceased by his son, Michael, in 1958.
ARRANGEMENTS: At Thomas’s request there are no visiting hours, and a memorial Mass and day of remembrance will be celebrated in June. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Care Dimensions (formerly Hospice of North Shore) 75 Sylvan St., Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923. To view his obituary, visit www.ccbfuneral.com.