GARRITY - James N. Of Williamsville, passed away last November 16, 2020, at age 85. Please join Jim's family as we come together to celebrate his life on his Birthday. A Celebratory Mass will be held on Wednesday, October 20, at 10:30 AM, at St. Gregory the Great at 200 St. Gregory Ct., Buffalo, NY 14221. A luncheon will follow the Mass at Sean Patrick's, 3480 Millersport Hwy., Getzville, NY 14068. All are welcome to attend. The son of the area's last living Erie Canal Boatman, James was the third of six children born to Richard and Mildred Garrity in the City of Tonawanda. A family of storytellers, Jim was known for his sharp wit and sense of humor. Jim first met Mary Holler, the love of his life, while they attended Tonawanda High School. Jim enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in Korea during his two-year tour of duty. After his service, he attended Buffalo State College where he studied Education. Jim and Mary were married on August 22, 1964. Jim began his teaching career that same year. He taught Fifth Grade at Meadow Elementary in N. Tonawanda, for 31 years, where he made many good friends and kept many students in line. In June of 1965, the couple welcomed their first son, James R., Kevin followed in 1966, Susan in 1968, Jeffrey in 1969, and finally Cathleen in 1973. Jim was a caring and dedicated father. He coached his sons in baseball and never missed a dance recital, concert, game, or graduation. Each summer, the family spent several weeks vacationing in a cottage in Long Beach, Canada, where they made many happy memories. As an educator, he was very proud that all his children graduated from college. In 1995, Jim welcomed his first grandchild and retired from teaching the same year. Jim was a doting grandfather of nine, Thomas, Farrell, and Jack Garrity, Adam, Abigail, and Grace Willig, and (late) Thomas, Anthony, and Nicholas Syracuse. He attended all the birthday parties, special events, concerts, games, recitals, graduations, and celebrations for the next generation. During his 25-years in retirement, Jim and Mary were able to take many of the vacations and trips they had not dreamed possible. They toured Europe, went on cruises, and enjoyed luxury vacations on tropical islands. They always traveled with good friends and treasured these experiences and memories. Jim belonged to St. Greg's Men's Club and golfed in their league as well. He was active with his Alma Maters, as an active member of the Tonawanda High School reunion planning committee and was a member of Buffalo State College Men's Choir. He also kept the time clock at the college's basketball games for many years. Jim had a passion for classic cars; he built models and attended local car shows. Jim was fascinated by astronomy and could often be found staring up at the sky and pointing out the planets and constellations. He rarely missed watching the Bills play on television, and the family often gathered to watch together. Jim kept busy with his hobbies that included gardening, reading, and collecting coins and jackknives. In recent years as Jim's health declined, he kept his cheery disposition. He was always happy to see his family and had a smile on his face and love in his heart. In addition to his wife, children, and grandchildren, Jim is survived by his sisters Lynette Ryan, Sandy Uplinger, his brother Tim (Rose) Garrity, and many nieces and nephews. Sadly, two of his sisters, Marjorie Klinger and Carolyn Morey, have passed away since his death. The ultimate teacher, Jim, chose to donate his body to the UB Anatomical Gift Program.
James N. GARRITY