James Finegan, a former New York City firefighter, passed away peacefully at his home in Rye, N.Y. on September 19, 2020.
Born on May 26, 1937, he was the son of James and Mary Howard Finegan. Jim, as he was called, grew up in the Throgs Neck neighborhood of the Bronx, where he attended St. Francis DeChantel, St. Helena’s High School, and SUNY Maritime at Fort Schuyler.
In 1960, he joined the FDNY and had a 16-year career with Ladder Company 48 in Hunts Point (Bronx), working his way up to Lieutenant. He received many citations, including the Red Cross CPR and Emerald Society medals.
After retiring in 1976, Mr. Finegan became a successful salesman. He worked for Brooks Instruments before starting his own business, Northeast Technical Sales.
In 1959, he married Barbara Ritchie. Four years later, they moved to Rye, where he was an active member of the community, serving as a volunteer with the Rye Fire Department and President of Rye Little League. He was a devout parishioner at Church of the Resurrection.
He was a longtime member of Coveleigh Club, where he served on the Board of Governors and was an avid tennis and paddle tennis player.
A big sports fan, he was a loyal follower of the NY Yankees and NY Jets for decades. As his grandchildren started to play sports, he traveled around Westchester and Fairfield counties cheering them on.
He was also a history buff and trivia king, who dove deep into books and tested his grandchildren’s knowledge as well as that of anyone else around.
A devoted father and grandfather, “Big Jim”, “Coach”, or “Pop”, as he was known in his later years, will be remembered for his quick wit. He was loved and admired by all who knew him.
Mr. Finegan is survived by his four children: James and his wife Wanda, William, Kathleen Fitzwilliam (Edward), and Thomas and his wife Suzy; his seven grandchildren; and his brother, Howard of Rockville Center, Long Island.