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James Thomson


James Thomson, age 91, of Wayne, passed away peacefully on Friday, December 1, 2017.

Born and raised in Paterson, Jim was a gifted student who consequently was able to graduate from Paterson’s Central High School at the young age of sixteen with the Class of 1942. While in high school and later in college, he excelled at sports, especially basketball where, at 5’ 2” he made an excellent guard.

After graduation, Jim proudly served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946, then he attended Rutgers University where he graduated earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting. He immediately started a job with prestigious accounting firm Price Waterhouse in New York City. While there, he worked hard and eventually ascended to the title of Vice President of Accounting. In the course of that pursuit, he became a CPA in 1966. During the span of his career, Jim split his time between Price Waterhouse and Warner Lambert before retiring completely in 1992.

Jim was the beloved husband of Ellen J. Donohue. They met down the Jersey shore in Manasquan, a place that they and many of their friends would frequent when they were young. Jim was a bit of a talent on the piano and, one day while playing in Manasquan, he apparently won Ellen’s heart. After dating for some time, in somewhat unconventional fashion, Ellen actually proposed to Jim. The two married on Sunday, October 16, 1960 at Church of the Nativity in Midland Park, NJ. After a honeymoon in Miami, Florida, they settled for a couple of years in Paterson during which time they welcomed their firstborn – a baby girl which they named MaryEllen. In 1962, they moved into a brand new home at 389 Annette Court in Wyckoff and soon after welcomed another child – this time a boy which they named James. For the next thirty years, this house in Wyckoff was their home. In 1992, after Jim’s retirement, he and Ellen decided to downsize so they moved into a new condominium development in Wayne called Breckenridge. It was here that Jim remained until 2016 when he moved to Sunrise Assisted Living in Wayne.

Throughout his life, Jim had varied interests, one of them being playing golf. Most of his spare time was spent on the High Mountain Golf Course in Franklin Lakes near his home in Wyckoff. There, he usually played with three of his buddies who played together so frequently, that they ultimately dubbed themselves the “Core 4”. He held the distinct honor and bragging rights for getting a hole-in-one and he continued to enjoy the game into his eighties and was presently the oldest living member of the High Mountain Country Club. He also had a few opportunities to play golf in Scotland, the homeland of his parents, and when he wasn’t actually playing, he enjoyed watching the pros play on television.

That earlier-mentioned love of piano stayed with Jim throughout his whole life. For relaxation and fun, you could find him sitting at home tickling those fifty-two white and thirty six black keys on his upright because, as a Scotsman, he was too cheap to buy a grand piano. A self-taught player, he especially liked Scottish tunes of a more classical genre. As a lover of music in general, Jim also enjoyed attending local concerts and other musical events. Interestingly, Jim also had a unique love and fascination with penguins.

Sadly, Jim experienced some heartache in his life too. In 1980, he and Ellen’s son Jim suddenly lost his life in a car accident and, while Jim and Ellen did get to enjoy some travel time together on cruises and trips to Florida, Ellen’s failing health necessitated extra care on Jim’s part. A loving husband who took his marriage vows of “for better for worse, in sickness in health” very seriously, Jim faithfully and lovingly cared for his beloved Ellen until her peaceful passing in 2002. In later years, Jim derived great enjoyment from watching his grandchildren grow. He always looked forward to attending their varied activities and event and especially liked being with all of his family to celebrate birthdays and holidays. Jim eventually found companionship again with a special lady named Anne Micone. For the past twelve years, they enjoyed each other’s company in days of leisure and engagement in many activities including attending Sr. Club, time at the casinos and bus rides to nowhere. Always loyal, even at age 91, he still valued the group of friends that he walked through much of his life with and, while it was harder to get together, he frequently kept in touch with them by phone and an occasional evening out for dinner.

A guy who always played by the rules, Jim’s conservative nature and positive work ethic were stabling factors and helped to set positive, foundational values for his kids during their formative years. Jim was generally serious but he could also display a sense of humor sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. He will be dearly missed.

Jim is survived by his loving daughter MaryEllen and husband Dan Finch of Flemington; dear grandchildren Ryan and wife Kelly Finch, and Megan Finch; numerous nieces and nephews; and his dear companion Anne Micone of Riverdale. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 42 years - Ellen J. (nee Donohue) in 2002, and his dear son James Thomson in 1980.

Friends may visit with the family at the Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home, 567 Ratzer Road, Wayne, on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 from 4:00-7:30 PM.

A Funeral Service will be held immediately following the time of visitation and begin at 7:30 PM at the funeral home.

A Graveside Committal Service will take place the following day, Wednesday, December 6, 2017, beginning 11:00 AM at Laurel Grove Cemetery, 295 Totowa Road, Totowa. All are welcome to meet directly at the cemetery, just beyond the white statue at the front gate. From there we will go in procession to the gravesite.


Guest Book


Farewell, Uncle Jim. Your presence on this earth was meaningful to many, and most certainly your family. We will all miss you. Thank you for the love you shared with us. You are and will always be a gem in our hearts.

Marianne Maes


Sorry for your loss. Jim was a good friend to my parents Jane and Bill Angiono and knowing they are all together again up above is comforting. My dad always appreciated Jim's visits. He was a good man. Bless you all!

Susan Angiono

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