Obituary of James Joseph Hapenney
James Joseph Hapenney, Sr., a retired Burlington Firefighter, passed on Thursday, June 15, 2023 in Burlington. He was 86 years old.
Jim was born and raised in Waltham. He was the youngest son of Thomas and Irene Hapenney. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the Marines and served during the end of the Korean War. He served for 3 years at Camp Lejune, Cherry Point, NC, Roosevelt Roads Naval Station in Puerto Rico, and the Coco Solo Submarine/Naval Air Station in Panama. After 3 years of service, he was honorably discharged. Jim was very proud to serve his country and to be a U.S. Marine. He continued his support of the armed services and fellow Veterans as an active member of the Burlington American Legion where he served as Sergeant at Arms, and participated in the socials and charitable events. In his later years he enjoyed talking about his service years with his children and grandchildren. Jim went to work as a machinist at Van Keuren Company in Watertown. He learned a great trade at Van Keuren, but more importantly he met a coworker, Patricia Kearney, who he would go on to marry. He worked full-time as a machinist until being hired as a firefighter for the town of Burlington in 1973. He served on the Burlington Fire Department until his retirement in 2000. He loved his career and was very humble about the work that he did as a firefighter. He spent most of his years on Engine 2 at the station on Terrace Hall Ave. Like many others of his time, Jim always worked a second job to give his family the little extras that he didn’t have as a child and the opportunity to further their educations. As a machinist he created prisms and lenses and once even made his own telescope.
Jim was a quiet man who was there with a helping hand. He was a social person, but never wanted to be the center of attention. He was always there to assist and support family and friends in whatever manner was needed. He had a great circle of friends with whom he golfed. He played at the Patriot Golf Course in Bedford with friends sometimes twice a week, also at the Merrimack Valley Golf Club, and Campbell’s Scottish Highlands Golf Course. His golf buddies also went on yearly golf trips all over the United States. He walked regularly with his lifelong friend Al Arsenault of Burlington. Jim was also a past member of the Knights of Columbus.
Family events, activities and vacations were important parts of Jim’s life. He went to his children’s (and later grandchildren’s) sports, school events, and activities. Jim loved his role of “Gramps” to his six grandchildren. He even cared for his grandchildren while their parents worked.
Many of the family vacations were spent in their Starcraft Pop Up Trailer. They traveled from Prince Edward Island, Canada all the way to Orlando, Florida. Jim was a history buff, especially involving military history, so whenever possible he added a historical site to their trip. He would read every sign or information packet at the exhibit as the family finished and waited for him outside or in the gift shop. Jim lived a noble life. He served his country, his community, and his family without expecting any praise or accolades. He just did what he thought was right.
Jim was the beloved husband of 59 years to Patricia (Kearney) Hapenney. He was the caring and supportive father of Marcia Anastasi of Woburn, Sandra Mahoney of Georgetown, and James J. Hapenney, Jr. of Methuen. He was the father-in-law of Steven Anastasi, Stephen Mahoney, and Allison Hapenney. He was the proud grandfather of Reilly, Dylan, and Casey Mahoney, Jayme Anastasi, Ava and Drew Hapenney. He was survived by his “older” twin sister, Jean Roche of Natick. He was predeceased by his siblings Barbara Mahoney, Phyllis Harrington, Thomas Hapenney, and his beloved sidekick, Bukah Joe the English Bulldog.
Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn Street, Burlington on Tuesday, June 20 from 4-7pm. Funeral from the Sullivan Funeral Home on Wednesday, June 21 at 8:45am, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Malachy’s Church in St. Veronica Parish, www.stveronicama.org, 99 Bedford Street, Burlington at 10am. Services will end with military honors. Jim will be laid to rest on Thursday morning, June 22 at 10am at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, www.cem.va.gov/CEM/cems/nchp/massachusetts.asp, Connery Avenue, Bourne, MA.
Memorials in Jim’s name may be made to the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans, www.nechv.org, P.O. Box 961500, Boston, MA 02109.
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050