James J. McAreavey, Sr., of North Providence and Meelick, Ireland, passed away suddenly on June 18, 2018.
He was born in Providence, the son of William and Annie M. (Costello) McAreavey. Jim graduated from LaSalle Academy and Bryant College, and was a veteran of the Korean War serving as a U. S. Army Military Police Officer of Company C, 175th MP Battalion stationed in Stuttgart, Germany. Dad was headed for posting in Korea, but, a last minute change of orders to Germany probably saved his and his battalion's lives. He always credited the 24/7 novenas prayed by his mother, aunts, and neighbors with that lucky switch.
An accountant by trade, Jim worked for the State of Rhode Island for more than thirty years, finally retiring as Assistant Controller for the Department of Human Services. He was a big sports fan, following all of the local teams and taking regular pilgrimages with the family to the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Basketball Hall of Fame. This love was passed along to his children, his two sons in particular. His son Jimmy good naturedly became the chauffeur to these destinations in later years. But, singular emphasis was always on the great sporting events that Dad witnessed at the now defunct Rhode Island Auditorium in the "old neighborhood" of the North End of Providence. These great stories and a love of the City, State of Rhode Island, and all its nooks and crannies was imparted to his three children. In his later years, he would happily co-pilot his kids along his old paper route, remembering all the names of the former occupants of each residence. Jim and his late wife Peggy spent many happy retirement years traveling extensively throughout Europe and the United States, with Ireland and Germany particular favorite destinations.
They lived in North Providence for more than fifty years, creating a home full of love and warmth. A bit crusty at times, especially in his later years, Jim's impishness always shone through, even at the very end. He would regularly leave voice mails on his daughter's phone "suggesting" that the ice cream was low, or, since it was Friday, clam cakes were in order for dinner. These messages are now treasured remembrances of a cherished father/daughter relationship.
Jim is survived by his son, James J. McAreavey, Jr. and daughter, Kathleen A. McAreavey, both of North Providence; his sister, Ann M. Jones of Cranston and many nieces, nephews, grand nieces, and grand nephews. He was predeceased by his beloved son, William R. McAreavey and beloved wife Marguerite, a.k.a. “Peggy”.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Monday, June 25, 2018 at 11:00 am in St. Anthony Church, 1413 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence. Calling hours will take place beforehand at 9:15 - 10:15 am in PRATA-GALLOGLY Funeral Home, 78 Providence Street, West Warwick. Burial with military honors will follow Mass in Mt. St. Mary Cemetery, Pawtucket. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jim’s memory may be made to the North Providence Firefighters Local 2334, P.O. Box 3932, North Providence, RI 02911.