Obituary : James H. Cleary
James H. Cleary, age 81, died at Windemere Nursing Home, where he had been a resident since June of 2008.
Mr. Cleary was preceded in death by his wife, Joanne, his parents, James and Jenny Cleary, and sister, Jean Briggs.
Mr. Cleary is survived by his children and their spouses, Janice and Richard Bowles, James H.H. Jr. and Maryellen; Joseph; Jeffrey and Noreen; Jeri Dube and Ray Rochon; 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Known to his friends as Jim, he enjoyed a full life. He was a lifelong summer resident of Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard. He and Joanne honeymooned on the Island and longed to live there full time. It was on January 27, 1972 when Jim was able to make that a reality. He took a job at the Vineyard Haven Post Office and moved his family to the Island.
Work life included 20 years in the post office, often supplemented with part-time jobs bartending at the Moonbeam, Edmunds, the Dunes, and annual stints at the local dog tracks.
Jim served in the Navy during WWII and was stationed as a prison guard at a camp on the island of Saipan. He was a lifetime member of the VFW and served as commander at Post 9261 on the Vineyard.
Upon retirement, Jim and Joanne became snowbirds, summering on the Vineyard and wintering in Bonita Springs, Fla. They enjoyed warm weather of Florida and the wonderful new friends that they made.
Flags were flown at half-mast at all Island post offices on Wednesday, Jan. 28, in memory of Jim.
A funeral mass on Martha's Vineyard will be held Saturday, Jan. 31, at 11 am at Our Lady Star of the Sea church in Oak Bluffs, with a reception following at the VFW.
A funeral at the O'Keefe-Wade Funeral Home, located at 70 Washington Street in Taunton, is on Monday, Feb. 2, at 10 am, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Andrew, formerly St. Paul's, Church, at 11 am. Visiting hours will be held on Sunday from 2 to 5 pm. Interment is in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Taunton. Visit okeefewade.com to sign the online guestbook and for obituaries and directions.