Neshanic Station, NJ-James “Jim” Hanley devoted and dedicated husband of 53 years to Joan Bienkowski Hanley, father to Elizabeth Muhleisen and James Kear Hanley the second; father-in-law to Meg Gaffney Hanley and “grandpa” to Chrystian and Julianna Muhleisen, James Kear Hanley the third and Grace Atwood Hanley passed away in the early morning of May 5, 2016. He is the son of Hugh and Ethel, brother to William, Hugh, John, Lila, and Virginia.
Jim served three years of active duty in The United States Navy, seven years in The Naval Reserve, and two years with the Thomas Edison Corporation building radios. He moved to stability with AT&T from which he retired much before his lovely teacher wife.
Once Elizabeth and Kear were adopted and officially Jim’s, his life turned from executive to Dad and then to “Grandpa.” He drove them everywhere; baton competitions, soccer games, gymnastics, wrestling tournaments, swimming meets and cheer competitions. He patiently coached first and second grade baseball, enchanting the team with the miracle power of shoe-goo. Jim spent his adult life as a super fan of all kids as well as the merits of the Neshanic Library.
Known as “Uncle Jim” to many fine young people, he shared a love of reading, especially adventure novels and NRA magazines. He enjoyed auto mechanics, Nascar racing, but most of all gathering with family and friends for his favorite drink, champagne; and favorite foods Pasta Bolognese, filet mignon, Jersey corn on the cob, and UGH! creamed celery soup.
How could anyone forget Jim’s humor? Even as far back as 1960, he wrote a letter to his love and later wife Joan, “Did you hear about the woman who knitted three socks for her son because he told her he grew another foot in the Navy?”
Jim’s caretaking of his elderly in-laws served as a model of care for his family. It was through his patience, compassion, selflessness, and humane acts that his family was able to reflect upon and provide for him. His ability to ensure others that things would be ok was respectfully reciprocated to him during his final days.
Countryside Funeral home on 724 Route 202 North in Flemington, NJ has arranged a viewing from six to nine o’clock on Monday May 9th. On Tuesday May 10th at 10:15am the Lazarus Society will conduct a service of the final farewell at Countryside. Following this service there will be a liturgy and celebration of Jim’s life at 11am at The Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church on Summer Road in Three Bridges, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to a scholarship fund being currently created for a student wrestler from Somerville High School in memory of James Kear Hanley. Please send donations to Kyle Franey, Athletic Director, SHS, 222 Davenport Street in Somerville, NJ.