Former East Rockaway Fire Chief James F. McCartney died peacefully on May 8 at home surrounded by family. He was 73.
McCartney was born and raised in Brooklyn, the son of the late Robert and Jane McCartney. He attended Brooklyn Prep High School and then graduated from Fordham University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and later received his masters in business administration. He became an Army officer and served in the Army Engineer Corp in South Korea.
McCartney was a devoted husband for 51 years to his wife, Jean. They raised their four children in East Rockaway, where McCartney was a member of the East Rockaway Fire Department for 38 years. As chief, one of his legacies was overseeing the restoration of “Tootsie,” the 1890’s fire pumper, which was destroyed during the fire of the historic Grist Mill in 1990. He enjoyed spending time with his Fire Department family.
Additionally, McCartney was a lector at St. Raymond’s Church. He spent the majority of his career in finance, employed by Home Box Office and Mercy Medical Center, in Rockville Centre. He enjoyed spending time with his children and six grandchildren. He loved walks, bike rides and to laugh with his friends and family.
McCartney and Jean spent their retirement together living in Georgia with their pets. He loved his family and friends, and had many friends on what he called “The Facebook”. James touched the lives of so many and often left them with a smile.
McCartney was a loving husband, father, grandfather and uncle. He will be missed and is survived by his children and their spouses, Karen Fays (Brian), Dennis McCartney (Maureen), Terence McCartney (Amy) and Logan McCartney-Toon (Victoria). He was known fondly as Gramps, and Papa T by his grandchildren, Katie, Brian, Liam, Nathan, Seamus and Keira. He is also survived by his sister, Bobbi McAneny.
A memorial Mass will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation be made to the Stephen Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundation.