James M. McNamara, 80, devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, died on Thursday, August 7, 2014, at his home in Brielle. Born in New York City, Jim devoted his life with service to his faith, country, and family. He served in the Army from 1954 through 1956 and graduated from Manhattan College in 1959 with a degree in Engineering. After graduation, he married his wife, Mary Ellen, and began his career in the U.S. civil service as an engineer with the Federal Aviation Administration. He continued his public service with the Department of Housing and Urban Development; however, the capstone of his career was as a product safety engineer with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Jim was the leader of one of the CPSC’s labs that spurred development of important safety improvements in tools, like chain saws and lawn mowers. These improvements protect people from serious injuries every day.
In 1965, Jim and Mary Ellen settled in Laurel, Maryland, to raise their family. Jim was very active as a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus at St. Mary of the Mills Parish. He also volunteered as a league commissioner with the Laurel Boys & Girls Club when his children participated in sports. After Jim retired from the civil service in 1996, Jim and Mary Ellen moved to West Virginia until 1999, when they relocated to Brielle. Shortly after moving to Brielle, Jim volunteered at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, and quickly became a favorite of the physicians, staff and patients. He was also a communicant at St. Mark’s Church in Sea Girt.
Jim is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Mary Ellen (nee Bowen), and his children and their spouses, James McNamara, of Bethesda, Md., William and Karen McNamara, of Baltimore, Md., and Lynne and Dr. Daniel Flynn, of Sea Girt. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Courtney, and her husband, Rebel Casas, Heather, Connor, Brandon and Aiden Flynn, and Billy, Sean, and Melanie McNamara, as well as his great-grandchild, Delaney Casas. Jim is also survived by his brothers, Michael McNamara, of Stamford, NY, and Patrick McNamara, of Gainesville, Fl., as well as other relatives and friends who shared many good times with him.
Jim belonged to the American Society of Civil Engineers, The Potomac Arms Collectors and N.J. Gun and Pistol Club. Jim enjoyed his fall deer hunting trips with his family and friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, August 16, 2014, at 9:30 AM at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Sea Girt. Jim’s ashes will be enurned at Parklawn Cemetery in Rockville, MD. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Brielle First Aid Squad, 710 Old Bridge Rd., P.O. Box 262, Brielle, NJ 08730.