James J. McGinness, Jr. died peacefully on April 28, 2020 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital
in New York after a 9 month battle with cancer. He was 75 years old.
James was born on November 23, 1944 to Josephine and James McGinness, Sr. in Malden,
MA. Raised in Troy, NH by aunt and uncle Barbara and Bill Dunn and a devoted nephew to
Anna and Charles McGinness, James graduated from Troy High School in 1962 and enrolled at
Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. To earn money as a young man, Jim (as he was
known to friends) would teach swimming lessons in the summer and work as a ski instructor in
the winter at local mountains. He graduated in 1966 with a BA in English and worked as an
English teacher for a short time before enlisting in the US Army. It was while teaching that Jim
would meet his first wife Mary Jane Zambito, who he would marry on April 28, 1968.
Jim spent 8 years in the Army and during that time would graduate flight school, spend 2 years
in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot and company commander, work as an aid to General Haldane
and receive many awards-including a distinguished flying cross and 2 bronze stars. He and
Mary had 2 children-Anne and Patrick-both born in Fort Dix, NJ. He taught ROTC at Sienna
College and eventually left the Army with a distinguished career as a Captain in 1975.
Jim first worked as a salesman in New York City for The Scott Paper Company and moved into
the textile market-he was Vice President first of Gramercy International and then Vice President
of The Cecil Saydah Company out of Los Angeles, where he ran their East Coast Division for
Jim is survived by his two children-Anne McGinness of Orlando, Florida and Patrick McGinness
of Highland, New York, his grandson and pride and joy, James McGinness of Holbrook, NY, his
devoted partner of over 30 years, Rita Kraut of New York, brothers Michael Dunn and Whalen
"Red" Dunn, both of Florida, as well as many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his
brother, Charles W. Robertson of North Carolina..
Jim was successful at any endeavor he put his mind to, whether it was in the military or in
business. An avid skier and sports enthusiast he was a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox. A
voracious reader, he was always up on current events and even in a digital age would still send
friends and family articles he would cut out of the New York Times that he felt would interest
What will most be missed was his sense of humor. He was always quick with a joke or a funny
story. He was a very generous man, especially with his time. Jim always made himself
available to those in need and supported many charities such as St. Jude Children's Hospital
and The Wounded Warrior Project to name a few. He delighted in his childrens' successes but
was most proud when talking about his grandson Jim, and would proudly show his pictures to
anyone he met. He was also most proud of his time in the Army and his service to his country.
He overcame every obstacle placed in front of him, including cancer and fought valiantly until
the very end, never giving up. His absence will be felt by many, but his ethics and values will
live on with those who knew and loved him.
A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Jim's ashes will be placed at Arlington
National Cemetery in accordance with final wishes.
Jim's funeral arrangements were entrusted to Carl J. DiDonato, Jr. of DiDonato Funeral Service,
Inc. of Marlboro, NY. www.didonatofuneralservice.com (845)-236-4300
Donations can be made in Jim's name to:
Paws for Purple Hearts- www.pawsforpurplehearts.org
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital- www.stjude.org
Wounded Warrior Project- www.support.woundedwarriorproject.org