James Joseph O'Malley, Jr.
PITTSFIELD James Joseph O'Malley, Jr., 92, of Pittsfield, passed away on Thursday, October 11, 2012, surrounded by loving family.A lifelong Pittsfield resident, James was educated in Pittsfield public schools and worked at the General Electric before entering the service in World War II. As a radio specialist in the Air Force, he was stationed in Charlotte, North Carolina, for a part of his service. It was there, in that southern city, that he met the love of his life, Ella Haney. They wed in 1946 and have shared an enduring love for the last 66 years.
James was the owner of Jimmie's Package Store on Dalton Avenue for many years. He began a new career in the early 70s as a van driver for Hillcrest Hospital, sharing stories with the many patients who were in his charge. In 1991, he earned an associates degree in art history from Berkshire Community College.
His love of beauty was expressed from an early age in his sketches and oil paintings. They hung from the walls of his store, and over the years, have been displayed in office buildings, and most recently at Melbourne Place with a special showing of his paintings, along with those of his mother, Alice and Aunt Gertrude. His paintings of The Berkshires were based on his keen observation and love of sitting for hours with paint and palette. He was still sketching well into his eighties and enjoyed watching visitors to his home expressing their surprise and wonder at all of the scenes ranging from those depicting the Church on the Hill in Lenox to the canals of Venice. James also created pen-and-ink sketches of many treasured buildings in Pittsfield, most notably the old railroad station and the Park Square Court House.
Proud of his Irish heritage, James was singing the Irish ballads all of his life and entertained guests at his recent 92nd birthday celebration with family and friends at Bass Water Grille with a rousing rendition of "Danny Boy".
James and Ella were long-time communicants of St. Teresa Church in Pittsfield, and in more recent years, Sacred Heart Church. He served as an usher at mass at St. Teresa's for over thirty years.
He was pre-deceased by his brothers, John Sullivan and Tom Sullivan, as well as sisters, Mary Sullivan Spencer and Gertrude O'Malley.
He is survived by his wife, Ella; daughters, Mary Beth O'Malley of Winthrop and Nancy O'Malley of Winthrop and Cheshire; and son-in-law, Douglas Bell of Winthrop; and a sister, Shirley O'Malley, of Melbourne Place, Pittsfield; In addition, James was the proud grandfather of Matthew Ohlson and wife, Tiffany, of St. Augustine, Florida, Elisa O'Malley of Alachua, Florida, and Polina Bell. In recent years an additional family joy for James has been his great grandsons, Gabriel, Brady, and Nathaniel. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews
FUNERAL NOTICE: Funeral services for James Joseph O'Malley, Jr., will be held Saturday, October 13, with a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 9 a.m., at Sacred Heart Church celebrated by Rev. James K. Joyce, Pastor. Burial, with military honors, will follow in St. Joseph's Cemetery. There are no calling hours.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in James' name to HospiceCare in The Berkshires, in care of DERY FUNERAL HOME, 54 Bradford Street, Pittsfield.
Dery Funeral Home
54 Bradford Street Pittsfield, MA 01201
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Oct. 12, 2012