James Powers

6 November, 194216 January, 2021

James Declan Powers died peacefully at the age of 78 on January 16, 2021. Jim was born the fifth of six children to John and Brigid (O’Donnell) Powers on November 6, 1942 in Yonkers, NY. Jim was part of a big Irish family with 4 sisters and a brother. He always spoke fondly of his family; his eyes would light up when asked about them. As a teen, Jim left high school to serve as an accountant in the Air Force. After a near-fatal accident, he was medically discharged from the service and returned home to begin a career with the Yonkers Fire Department, culminating in the rank of Captain. After a long and distinguished career (35 years) Jim retired in the Spring of 2000. Jim would eventually get his GED and an associate’s degree from Westchester Community College. His love of learning did not diminish throughout his life, extending to his passion for travel and culture. Jim spent his retirement with his loving companion, Lea Garofalo and they traveled extensively. Jim and Lea went on trips and cruises throughout the US and Europe. Particularly memorable was Jim’s “pilgrimage “to India which proved to be both enjoyable and harrowing and, in the end, almost killed him. Regardless Jim, like most things, smiled and took it in stride.

Jim loved his pets, so much so that he built intricate and elaborate play towers for his cats and then spent his later years doting on a couple dogs first Jack and then Zack. A health-enthusiast, Jim enjoyed being incredibly active. Starting his retirement with rollerblading, bicycling and kayaking, Jim eventually “slowed” down to pursue epic walks, swimming and of course a passion for yoga. When relaxing, he could be found with a newspaper in hand, typically working away at the crossword, with a cup of herbal tea and a piece of fruit within reach.

Each of his mornings began with a large bowl of oatmeal, the toppings of which were varied, many, and discerning to anyone who may be an audience of this breakfast. His one indulgence was apple pie, for which he had no objections when it came to variety or time of year of consumption. Both a fan (Mets and Giants) and hater (Yankees) of NY sports, Jim’s home and car were typically filled with the idle chatter of sports announcers. His day was not complete without his nightly viewing of Jeopardy, during which he could quietly defeat any fellow viewer no matter the category. Jim especially loved spending time with his family and took great pride in their achievements. He never missed a birthday party “probably for the cake”, a baptism or school event and would always show up, never on time. Jim was an immensely likable, loving and a kind, kind man. Jim was our Dad, he was a great Dad and we loved him! Jim is survived by his son, James J. Powers and wife, Gloria; his daughter, Michele Powers-Viall and husband, Bob; his youngest daughter, Siobhan Powers; his partner, Lea Garofalo; his 6 grandchildren, Jakob, Mary, Madeline, Grace, James and Violet; his surviving siblings, Billie Holiday, Maurice (Todd) Powers, San Culley, Maureen Shupe and many other extended family members and friends. He is pre-deceased by his parents and sister, Margaret (Peggy) Sargent.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim's name may be sent to the Fallen Firefighters Foundation

To leave online condolences and fond memories of Jim for the Powers family, please visit

The Thos L. Shinn Funeral Home,10 Hilliard Dr., Manahawkin, NJ was entrusted with the arrangements.


  • Visitation

    Friday, 22 January , 2021


James Powers

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New York Police & Fire Retiree Assoc.

1 February 2021

From the members of the New York Police & Fire Retiree's Assoc.
Jim, May You "Rest in Peace"
To the family,
The membership is sorry for your loss.

Bob O’Donnell Jr

25 January 2021

Rest In Peace cousin Jimmy. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you. I’ll never forget the days when my dad brought us by Engine 6 to visit.

Anthony Ciaramella

25 January 2021

So sad to hear of the passing of Big Jim. Thinking of his smile brings back many happy childhood memories. I can vividly remember him sitting around the table with "the adults" playing cards and laughing. He had such a warm, kind presence. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jimmy, Michele and the rest of his family.

John Ciaramella

25 January 2021

We all loved Big Jim. Best Poker Player in the family. Always smiling, always good natured and kind and funny. Handy too, thanks for the new sink he installed in our kitchen in Elmont, saved me a few hundred on that one so that I could lose it to him in the poker games. He was a truly great guy. The best of the best. Will never forget him.

Ronald. (AKA) Beaver Dolack

24 January 2021

My condolences to the family of Jim. We worked together for many years. I always considered him a friend. We had many good times together.

Ron Dolack. (AKA) Beaver

Danny Masina

24 January 2021

I used to drive Jimmy on Ladder 75 we always had a lot of laughs and always watch Jeapordy when we worked he was good at it.I worked Toddy his brother at Sta 3. I guess you will be playing jeaprody with Alex Trebeck in Heaven Farewell my friend Rest In Peace

Marygene Reilly

23 January 2021

Sorry to hear of Jim's passing . He was well liked in Perry's Lake and will be missed.

Nancy Carroll

23 January 2021

Rest In Peace Jim. A very good man. You will be missed. My condolences to all his family, with love.❤️

Louis Bousche

23 January 2021

Worked with him as a FF and was a great officer to work with and a gentle and soft spoken gentleman .May he RIP .

Nancy Conjura

21 January 2021

Jim was a wonderful and kind man.
He will be missed by all who knew him. We are so sorry for your loss.

From the Family