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James McGourty

1921 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
MCGOURTY, James Jean "Jim" Aug. 12, 1921 Aug. 25, 2018 It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of James (Jim) Jean McGourty on Saturday, August 25, 2018. Jim was a WW II Veteran, he lived a remarkable life and died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 97. Jim was born in France to his French-born mother (Marie Caignet) and his Irish-American, WW I Veteran father (James McGourty). His parents met in France during WW I, they married and lived in France with their two sons, Jim and Robert, until the untimely passing of Robert at the age of two. Upon this time, the family of three moved from France to El Paso, Texas. While in El Paso, they owned a chicken farm. As a young boy, Jim sold eggs door-to-door to their neighbors early in the morning before going to school. In his free time, he groomed and rode his white horse named Snowball. Sadly, in 1934, Jim's father died unexpectedly when Jim was at the tender age of 13. Having no relatives in the US, his mother decided to return to France. From 1934 to 1939, mother and son lived in France while Jim attended school in Chateau-Thierry. They lived in German- occupied France for a number of months until the UK and France declared war on Germany and it became too dangerous to remain. Once again, mother and son were on the move. They escaped from German-occupied France into Vichy (or free zone) France. From there, they traveled through France, Spain and Portugal. In 1940, they sailed by ship from Lisbon to the US and settled in Worcester, MA. By 1941, Jim was enlisted in the US Army Air Corps where he trained and served in active duty. He was an aviation mechanic, navigator, bomber, and an advanced multi-engine pilot. He rose to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant and flew a B-25 Mitchell Bomber. In 1945, Jim married Lillian McCabe, who was also born in France and the child of a French-born mother and Irish- American, WW I Veteran father. They raised six children together until 1979. They lived in Worcester, MA; Providence, RI; Ellicott City, MD and Chatham Twp., NJ. Jim began his professional career as a salesman with IBM. He was later hired by Moore Business Forms and was soon promoted to District Manager in NYC. This promotion led to the family's move from MD to NJ in 1962. Jim retired from Moore as the Northeast Region Vice President of Sales in Greenwich, CT. In 1991, Jim married Elsie Wegener. Together they lived happily in Oronoque Village located in Stratford, CT and in Jonathan's Landing located in Jupiter, FL. The couple enjoyed an active and social lifestyle in both communities and built many strong and lasting friendships. Together they traveled to France and drove across the US. Jim was a member of the Jonathans Landing Literary Society, and had numerous hobbies and interests, including: tennis, classical music, ballet, opera, world history, sports cars, travel, masonry, carpentry, auto mechanics and he was fluent in French. Jim is survived by Elsie McGourty, his loving, devoted and gracious wife of 27 years; three sons: James, Kenneth and Robert McGourty; two daughters Deborah and Kathleen McGourty; six grandchildren: Francie and Christopher Kline Jim's granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Kristina and Kevin Jr. Yannotta, and Daniel and Kimberly Price; and three great- grandchildren Alexandra and Christopher Jr. Kline and Emma Price. Jim is also survived by six stepchildren Carol and David Samuel; Steven, Thomas, Alan and LeAnn Wegener; four step-grandchildren Kelly and Tim Galvin, Zoe and Bram Wegener; and three step-great-grandchildren James, Grace and Grant Galvin. Jim is predeceased by his son Daniel McGourty; his brother Robert McGourty; his parents Marie and James McGourty; and stepfather John Ramsey. Jim was known for his wit, kindness and generosity. He will be greatly missed by all who loved and knew him. Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the US Department of Veterans Affairs at https://www.volunteer.va.gov/apps/ VolunteerNow/. Please select Florida and West Palm Beach; or St. Jude Catholic Church, 204 US Highway One, Tequesta, FL 33469 A memorial with family and friends is planned for a later date.
Published in The Palm Beach Post on Sept. 15, 2018
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