James F. McNulty Jr.

Obituary
42 entries
  • "Sept17,2009 Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am..."
  • "Jim McNulty: an honorable and charitable friend, a true..."
    - the Harlan Family
  • "Jackie, Our family where so lucky to have known Jim as he..."
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    - Judy Nagle
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    - Peter Bryant
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James F. McNulty, Jr. was born on October 18, 1925 in Boston, Massachusetts. He is predeceased by his parents, James and Florence McNulty, and his sister, Nancy McNulty Lorett. He is survived by his wife of fifty-nine years, Jacqueline Boevers McNulty; sister, Ann Whitehead of Oakland, California; son, Michael McNulty and daughter-in-law, Linda McNulty; daughters, Cynthia McNulty and Amy McNulty; granddaughters, Clare McNulty, Jacquie Buller and Jillian Buller; and nephews, Michael and Joel Spitzer. McNulty grew up in West Roxbury, Mass. He attended Boston Latin School, the oldest public school in America. In 1944 he was drafted, serving as a drill sergeant for waves of Army recruits at Ft. McClellan. Because of asthma, he headed west for college after World War II, choosing Tucson nearly at random. He arrived by train at the historic Depot on January 4, 1946. McNulty enrolled at the University of Arizona on the G.I bill, joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, competed as a quarter-miler for the track team, and packed melons in Yuma during summers. His lifelong friendship with Morris K. "Mo" Udall began in 1947. The following year he met Jacqueline Boevers of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, valedictorian of her Kingman High School class and daughter of ranchers from Duncan and then Wikieup, Arizona. They were married on September 9, 1950, at St. James Catholic Church in Coolidge. During law school, McNulty met George Miller who remained one his closest friends, 60 years later. After getting his law degree, McNulty was introduced by UA Athletic Director Pop McKale to former football team captain Martin Gentry, who hired McNulty at Gentry and Gentry, a Bisbee law firm founded in 1903 (then, Sutter, Roche, and Gentry), the oldest law firm in Arizona. McNulty raised his family in Bisbee and practiced law at the firm (then, Gentry, McNulty, and Kimble) for over 30 years. McNulty was proud to represent Arizona's first rural electric cooperative, the Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Co-op. McNulty helped elect Stewart Udall to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1954. In 1958-59 he and Udall helped John F. Kennedy become the Democratic candidate for president. Although Carl Hayden, then the state party patriarch, endorsed Lyndon Johnson, the Arizona Democratic party was one of very few states west of the Mississippi to go for Kennedy. When Udall became Secretary of the Interior, McNulty helped to elect Stewart's brother Mo to succeed him in Congress. He loved Arizona and served it in many ways, having been appointed to the State Hospital Board of Directors by Governor McFarland; to the State Board of Education by Governor Goddard; and to the Board of Regents by Governor Babbitt. He served six years in the Arizona State Senate, where he worked with Jacquie McNulty's childhood friend, Sandra Day O'Connor. In 1980 McNulty was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in the then-new Congressional District Five which had been drawn by the Chairman of the Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee, Jim Kolbe. He narrowly beat Kolbe in 1982, but was narrowly defeated after one term, disappointing constituents whose loyalty and affection remained in constant evidence for years after his loss. He became a partner with the law firm of Bilby, Thompson, Shoenhair and Warnock, which later joined Snell and Wilmer, and served in the Peace Corps, for which his sister Nancy had worked for several decades, in the eastern highlands of Guatemala. Jim McNulty's civic activities were too numerous too mention. Among his favorites were Little League coach, the Tucson Literary Society, and the Board of the DeGrazia Foundation. His efforts on behalf of the Catholic Church, the Democratic Party, and the University of Arizona were unrelenting for half a century. His life was devoted to ensuring inclusiveness and opportunity, and protecting the least fortunate among us. He was devoted to his grandchildren, and he tried to inspire them and all of us to step up and make a difference in the lives of others, and to fearlessly tackle the great issues of the day. A public Visitation, to which all are invited, will be held at CARRILLO'S TUCSON MORTUARY from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2009. A private burial will follow on Friday, July 3, 2009. A Memorial Mass will be held on July 18, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. at the San Augustine Cathedral, Bishop Kicanas presiding. His family recommends that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the University of Arizona Foundation's endowment. And they would encourage those who held his values dear to renew their own efforts to realize the promise that is America.
Published in the Arizona Daily Star on July 2, 2009