James Michael Cannan

December 5, 1948July 11, 2018

James M. Cannan, age 69, of Secaucus, NJ passed away peacefully, on Wednesday July 11th, surrounded by loved ones.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in Jersey City, Mr. Cannan lived in Secaucus for the last 43 years.

James was a loving man, devout Catholic, and fervent Seton Hall University basketball fan.

James graduated from Seton Hall University in 1970, was drafted and served in the Army, before joining the Port Authority where he work for 37years. He was member of the Knights of Columbus and was a former Grand Knight of Secaucus Council 12769. James will be remembered by all who knew him as a honest, kind, and caring man.

He is survived by his loving wife Barbara of 43 years, children, Sean, Eric, and Katy, five grandchildren, brothers, Robert and Patrick, and sister Mary Cannan.

Visitation will be held on Monday July 16th from 4 to 8pm, Mack Memorial Home, 1245 Paterson Plank Road Secaucus, NJ 07094. A Funeral Mass will be on Tuesday July 17th 9:30am Immaculate Conception Church in Secaucus. Burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in N. Arlington. Charitable contributions in Mr. Cannan’s name may be made to the Leukemia Foundation, or the Alzheimer’s Association.


  • Visitation Monday, July 16, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Tuesday, July 17, 2018
  • Committal Service Tuesday, July 17, 2018

James Michael Cannan

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Barbara Mele

July 21, 2018

Dear Barbara & Family,

We just heard about James passing. We are very sorry for your loss. We will always remember him as such a kind, happy person who truly loved being a husband ,father, and grand father. May you find comfort in your memories, as well as all the beautiful memories and words that everyone has for him. Sending you our love & prayers.

Barbara & Bruno Mele and family

James Nagle

July 14, 2018

This is part 2.

No man ever loved his family more. While short in stature, Jimmy would swell with pride as he talked about his family. He took delight in all the doings of his children and grandchildren and loved to tell me all that they were experiencing and accomplishing. During this last ordeal of innumerable trips to hospitals, doctors, PT appointments, Jimmy was lavish to me in his praise of Barbara. Even those of us who love Jimmy knew that he, in the old Irish expression, "married up" when he married Barbara. Barbara, in all the praise he heaped on you in my telephone conversations with him, if he had been Pope, you would at least have been beatified by now.

I am still grappling with the idea that he is gone and that in this life I will not hear his voice again. At the very least every year we would call each other on our birthdays. There will be a void on this coming birthday for me and for the others to follow.

Jimmy and I were both Irish and very proud of our heritage and we love movies. So we loved an Irish movie of a few decades ago "Waking Ned Devine". There is a scene in the movie where one fellow was talking about his friend at a funeral. I will paraphrase it now because it is a wonderful epitaph "Jimmy Cannan was my great friend. I don't ever remember telling him that. Jimmy and I grew old together, but at times, when we laughed, we grew younger. If he were here now, if he could hear my voice, I would congratulate him on being a great man and thank him for being my friend."

James Nagle

July 14, 2018

This is part 1 to fit within the space limit. you cannot digest 60 years of friendship into a small space.

I first met Jimmy Cannan in September 1959. His family had just moved to Jersey City from Brooklyn and he transferred into the 6th grade at St. Joseph grammar school. We became fast friends and virtually inseparable. We went to different high schools but we would still get together every weekend and as often during the week as we could. After high school, we went to different colleges-me to Georgetown and Jimmy to Seton Hall. So we could not see each other as often. We all have lots of people we were friendly with earlier in our lives and you see them again 3 or 4 years later and, after 20 minutes, you realize you no longer have anything in common with that person. That was never the case with Jimmy and me. Even if we had not seen each other or even spoken for quite some time, whenever we did get together for a visit or phone call, it was just like old times. We could discuss politics, movies, current events, anything and could often finish each other's sentences. It was a true friendship, without guile. There can be no pretense or artifice between longtime friends from childhood. We had each seen the other do so many stupid, juvenile, boorish things that there was no way we could fool the other or put on airs.

Jimmy remains one of the smartest people I have ever come across. When I was thinking about going to law school, Jimmy was also contemplating that. I wish he had gone. He would've made an incredible lawyer. With his inquisitive mind and amazing memory, he would've been a walking law library; but that alone would not have made him an awesome lawyer. There are plenty of very smart lawyers but I have never met anyone with a greater sense of decency than Jimmy. He was a kindhearted soul and a true gentleman with the emphasis on both parts of that word.

Patrick Cannan

July 14, 2018

Jimmy, you were the ultimate big brother to me. You were always there for me when I needed someone and I will always be so grateful to you. I will always remember going to the Met games together, playing pick up basketball games and playing strat-o-matic baseball. You were the best man at my wedding for a reason. I will really miss you! Love Always your brother Pat.

Theresa Kaminsky

July 13, 2018

Dear Barbara & Cannan family,

My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this tough time. Barbara- I know that you wittessed Jim’s fight start to finish, he was such a strong man who pushed himself to get stronger and do better than he did the day before each day! He was, (& will always remain) an inspiration to me!
I will always remember him with the smile that is posted on this memorial page in that photo, as that is the way I remember him when I first met you both!
I hope you find peace in knowing he is resting in such sweet peace now.

With Love,
Theresa Kaminsky

Mary (Betty) Smith

July 13, 2018

Barbara and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I have memories of the two Jimmy's at the table by the pool in the back yard. Of course telling jokes, who could out tell the other. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers.

God Bless

Krystal Hood

July 13, 2018

I am deeply saddened by the news of your Brother's loss. My deepest sympathies to you and your family through this difficult time. May James Michael Cannan Rest in Heavenly Peace. Krystal

Betty and Frank Sasso

July 13, 2018

So sorry Barbara and family for the loss of your dear husband. Jimmy was a kind compassionate man. He was a devoted husband and father. He adored his grandchildren. We often joked how we babysat and enjoyed every minute of it. Rest easy Jimmy and god bless your family as they moarn your passing.

Eileen McGinley

July 12, 2018

A gentle soul, a brilliant mind.
I will always remember you making the time for a quick chat whenever I saw you on my PATH commute.
Family gatherings were always better when you were present.
Very proud to call you Cousin.
Will never forget you, Jimmy.
Love, Eileen

Mary Cannan

July 12, 2018

Jimmy was my big brother who always inspired me. As a little girl, many of my interests are credited to him. The music and books he liked, I liked. He opened a world of culture to me. Brothers and sisters never really grow old, we remember days as children as if it were yesterday. We share family joys and sorrows. Jimmy never judged and always listened. Always had a warm greeting and smile. “I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my God, but my God eluded me. I sought my brother and I found all three." You are forever in my heart and I will miss you beyond words. Love your sister, Mary