James Joseph Warburton passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 18th, just 3 days after his 80th birthday. Jim, or Jimmy, as known to his family and friends, was born on August 15, 1938, the third of four boys, to Dr. Jack and Marguerite Warburton in Paterson, New Jersey. He attended St. Joseph’s High School and graduated from Seton Hall University, with a bachelor’s in business management, as well as The American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service. It was while at Seton Hall that he met his wife of 55 years, Eileen Marie Hoolan.
Jim and Eileen lived for many years in Wyckoff, New Jersey where they raised their three children. Jim worked in the neighboring town, Hawthorne, as a funeral director. Arranging a funeral is a trying time for anyone, and Jim always took wonderful care of the families that he served. He also volunteered for the “all volunteer” Wyckoff Fire Department for 30 years and took great pride at usually being the first to the station house and, thus, the driver of the engine truck. Jim was a people person – whether you were a family member, friend, neighbor or just a person in need, he was always there to help.
Vacations with his family involved travels up and down the eastern seaboard, and the family knew that each and every vacation would involve a train or boat ride somewhere along the way. In fact, if Jim could have owned a train and stabled it in his backyard, he would have! Later in life, he became a collector of all things related to trains; and his “man cave” was actually a train room with a number of model trains and tracks, train lamps and other train accessories, and books and magazines all devoted to the rails.
Jim was also an avid reader. Books, magazines, newspapers and digital readers – whatever he could get his hands on, and on subjects incredibly diverse. He read everything he could, and he remembered it all. His children might have had the advanced degrees, but Jim always knew the answer to the most esoteric questions.
After the kids were grown, Jim and Eileen enjoyed their travels around the world. Jim and Eileen went to Europe and Asia and South America and Antarctica – and he enjoyed planning these trips with his patient and loving wife who was always sure to include a train or a boat or some historic military monument as part of the itinerary. As cruising came into vogue, Jim finally got the boat trips that he really wanted – more than just a day trip around a lake, Jim got to sail across the Atlantic Ocean and go through the locks at the Panama Canal.
Then, with the arrival of grandchildren, Jim and Eileen made many travels to California, a state he truly loved, to see his daughter, Eileen, and her family. In 2015, Jim and Eileen moved to South Pasadena, Florida to be near their son, Chris, and his wife and children.
Jim enjoyed their condo in Florida overlooking the water. He could watch his beloved boats go by, the birds fly and the dolphins swim, and the sun set from his own balcony.
Jim was preceded in death by both of his parents and all three of his brothers, Jack, Bill and Tom. He is survived by his wife, Eileen; daughter, Eileen, and her husband, James Whalen; son, Chris, and his wife, Alicia; son, Sean; and 6 grandchildren, Mckenzie, Keiran and Aidan Whalen and Jack, Max and Will Warburton.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, September 14th at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary Our Lady of Grace in St. Petersburg, Florida. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you please donate to a charity of your choosing.