Cover photo for James B. Delaney's Obituary
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James B. Delaney

May 25, 1921 — October 18, 2023


James B. Delaney

James B. Delaney – the self-proclaimed “luckiest guy alive” – died on October 18 at the age of 102.


Jim was born May 25, 1921, in Westwood, Massachusetts, to Anna (Charlotte Sjoholm) Delaney (born Goteborg, Sweden, 1888) and James J. Delaney (born Dedham, Mass., 1884). His father worked as chauffeur to the Perkins family, in Westwood, and Jim and his family had a small home on the Perkins estate. He was preceded in death by his brother, Edward J. Delaney, in 1995.


Upon joining the Navy in April of 1942, Jim wangled his way into an electrical training program at Naval Station Great Lakes near Chicago. Over the course of the next three years he plied his trade at various California naval bases and, for eighteen months, on a ship that zigzagged the Pacific, ending up in New Caledonia. When the war ended in 1945, Jim was discharged as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate 1st Class and made his way back to Massachusetts.


Jim worked as an electrician in the Boston area for the rest of his life, starting at the Sturtevant Division of Westinghouse. In 1956 he moved on to Carling Brewery, where working in the bottling plant caused him significant hearing loss. Following Carling’s closure in 1976, Jim worked for ten years as an electrical supervisor at the New England Deaconess Hospital.


Jim met “the love of his life” – Eleanor Civitarese – shortly after the war, and they were married in Blessed Sacrament Church, Hyde Park, on July 15, 1950. They lived happily together in Sharon, Massachusetts – raising their three boys, enjoying time with friends, and traveling annually to see the New England fall foliage – until Eleanor’s premature death from cancer in 1983. Jim remained devoted to Eleanor’s memory and never remarried.


Jim is survived by his three sons, Gary (Theresa), Wayne (Pamela) and Jim (Johanna) Delaney, his grandchildren, Kristin, Jason (Rhys), John (Melissa), Andy (Kim), Kim, Daniel and Seamus Delaney, and ten (soon to be eleven) great-grandchildren, Alessandra, Currie, Charley Joy, Callen, Jackson, Lucy, Thomas, James, Teddy and Paisley.


In 1969, while working for Carling, Jim took on an additional job as the part-time electrical inspector for the Town of Sharon, working nights and weekends. He kept that job after retiring from the New England Deaconess in 1986, becoming a beloved member of the town staff and “a legend” among fellow electricians. The word was that “you can’t fool Jim Delaney,” so if you did electrical work in Sharon you had better do it right. Jim retired as Sharon’s electrical inspector in 2017 – after 49 years – on his 97th birthday.


In his free time, Jim enjoyed traveling (abroad and in the United States), watching Red Sox and Patriots games, and spending time with friends and family. His long-time companion Emily Traut and his devoted friend Sandra Barrett welcomed Jim into their families as one of their own, and he took every opportunity to see his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, attending countless games, dance recitals, cheerleading competitions, crew races, concerts, graduations and weddings. He particularly loved playing golf with his grandson Andy and watching his grandsons Jason and John play high school, college and minor league baseball. Although he never had a pet of his own, Jim took great pleasure in spending time with his son Wayne’s family Basset Hound “Norman” and Sandra’s Bulldog “Delaney.”


Despite his modest means, Jim was a man of unfailing gratitude and generosity. He was continually mindful of those who were less fortunate. The town nurse and the priest of the Catholic church in Sharon knew that they could call Jim when someone was in desperate need and Jim would do what he could to help, always anonymously.


Jim had to move to a nursing home at age 99 on account of failing eyes and knees. Even then, his mantra remained, “I’m the luckiest guy alive.”


Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Jim’s Life Celebration on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, from 4 to 7 PM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole.


All are invited to gather in the funeral home on Thursday, November 2, 2023, at 9:00 AM, prior to Jim’s Mass of Christian Burial that will be celebrated in Our Lady of Sorrows, 59 Cottage Street, Sharon at 10:00 AM.  Interment will follow in Knollwood Memorial Park in Canton.


In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of Jim Delaney directed to The Jimmy Fund, at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via



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Past Services

Life Celebration

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home

48 Common St, Walpole, MA 02081

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Mass of Christian Burial

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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