James Joseph McBreen
November 1st, 1965 – April 12th, 2020
If you knew James, you know that while he presented himself as a big strong tough guy, he had the biggest heart. He loved his family and friends beyond measure. He loved his parents, Ronnie and Terry, with all of his heart. As the oldest of six, he always tried to take care of all of his siblings, even though, for the most part, they aren’t too much younger than him. When his daughter, Mara, was born, his happiness was indescribable. As she has grown, he became prouder of her and her accomplishments by the day. Meeting his wife, Margaret, brought something out in him that those close to him noticed immediately. They share a great love. She also brought her children, Erin and Frankie, into his life, which he was overjoyed about. His family was extended to include the Bennett family including his wonderful mother and father – in – law. If you were a friend of James’s, you were also blessed to truly hold a piece of his heart.
Second to his family and friends, was his lifelong career as an operating engineer in Local 14. He took so much pride in what he did and being able to share the same career as his father, brothers, and two of his brother-in-laws. When he wasn’t working or just spending time with his family, James’s favorite place to be was out on the water. Spending summers in the Hamptons with his family and friends led to his love of boats, fishing, and the water. When out there, you knew you could find him on a boat somewhere. Whether he was out on a big fishing trip or just hanging around on the bay with family and friends, this was truly his happy place. He enjoyed so many days on the boat and many fishing-based vacations to various places with his brothers and great friends.
James was also so intrigued by ocean life itself, specifically sharks, and more specifically Great White sharks. When he learned of OCEARCH and the work they were doing studying sharks, it peaked his interest. This interest was shared by many of his family members. That is why we thought that this would be the perfect way to honor him. He would have loved it.
James was taken from us far too soon. We can only take comfort in knowing that he is in a better place with his mother, Ronnie, and his mother-in-law, Janice. Just as he wanted to take care of everyone while he was here with us, he is now watching over us from above.