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James F. Fairlie

U.S. Army

James Franklin Fairlie (Jimmy) was born August 8, 1930 on North Street in Port Richmond. Jim is one of 11 children of Robert and Isabelle (Butler) Fairlie. All the Fairlies were adept at swimming. Their house on North Street was steps away from the Kill Van Kull and around the corner from Faber Pool. Between swimming to Bayonne and high diving at Faber Pool, Jim and his siblings were well known for their athletic abilities.

Too young to serve in WW II, Jim followed his older brothers and served his country in Korea. After his tour of duty ended, Jim returned to the Island and married Lois Ekberg of Mariner’s Harbor. Lois’s family was part of the Swedish shipbuilding community who settled in the Harbor in the early 20th Century.

James worked in the construction industry. He was a member of Local 731, Building, Concrete, Excavating & Common Laborers Union, (LIUNA). Subsequently, he worked as a Deckhand on the Staten Island Ferry for 15 years.

Jimmy and Lois were a dashing couple. They were first on the dance floor at any event. A favorite uncle among his nieces and nephews, Jimmy was the go-to guy if you wanted to know the latest songs and dances.

During the 1970’s Jim took up roller skating. In his sleek Coca Cola pants, Jim became a well known figure at the Sunday afternoon roller skating dance parties held in Central Park. Jim was also an avid motorcyclist and enjoyed being on the open road riding into his late 80’s.

Jim passed away September 23, 2021. He is survived by three sons, Keith, Jimmy and Mark Fairlie, 8 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

Sponsored by Mark and James Fairlie

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