Obituary of James DeWorken
James Robert (Jim) DeWorken, 78, peacefully passed away on September 19, 2016. Born on August 24, 1938 in Allison Park, PA, Jim lived in Michigan before making his home with his wife, Jerily, in Washington Township (Warren County) New Jersey.
Jim earned a BA from Western Michigan University and holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Michigan. He also studied for his Doctorate at Michigan State.
Jim was a life-long educator who always put his students first. He began his career as a teacher before becoming a vocational education director in both Monroe and Grosse Pointe, MI.
In 1981 Jim was named the Superintendent of Schools at Morris County School of Technology in Denville, NJ, a position he held for 22 years.
After a short stint at Boonton Public Schools, Jim was asked to lead special projects at the New Brunswick Public School System, which is one of the largest districts in the nation. It was there that he earned his finest title, that of “Music Man” when he led the resurgence of the music program.
In fact, he was honored for his dedication to music and the arts by VH1. As a highlight to his efforts, Jim applied for and received a grant from VH1 Save the Music Foundation to return music to the district. VH1’s Foundation provided two orchestra packages the first year. Then, in the second year, in an unprecedented move by VH1, the foundation completely funded the music programs at the eight remaining schools. Under Jim’s leadership of this program, New Brunswick was named the National VH1 Save the Music Foundation School District of the Year.
Jim was an avid runner who ran several marathons including the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. And aside from his family, Jim enjoyed traveling, going to the beach, dining out, and rooting for the Yankees and Michigan Wolverines.
Jim is predeceased by parents John James and Gertrude Myrtle Mae Caughey DeWorken, brother Jack and sister Marge. He is survived by his loving wife, Jerily, of 22 years; sister Eleanor McGrath, and brothers Bill and David DeWorken; four children, Chris (wife Suzanne), John (wife Sunnie), Dawn Boyle (husband Patrick), and Heather Marrero (husband Kevin). Jim’s five grandchildren always made him smile – Caroline, Sally, Shannon, Finn, and Mackenzie.
A gathering of family and friends will be held on Wednesday September 21, 2016 from 5:00pm until 8:00pm and again on Thursday morning from 8:30am until 9:30am at the Martin Funeral Home, 1761 Route 31, Clinton, NJ 08809. A mass of Christian burial will be offered on Thursday September 22, 2016 at 10:00am at the Immaculate Conception Church, 316 Old Allerton Road, Annandale NJ. Interment will follow at the Immaculate Conception Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations in Jim’s name may be made through, In Memory Of, for the New Brunswick Education Foundation, at www.inmemoryof-memorial.org If you prefer, you may also mail a check payable to In Memory Of and send it to, P.O. Box 5472, Charlottesville, VA 22905