James “Jim” Buckley, loving husband, brother, father, and uncle, passed away suddenly on September 30, 2021 at the age of 61. Born on October 22, 1959, in Boston, Massachusetts to Paul Buckley and Madeline (Cusack), Jim was one of seven brothers and sisters raised in an intimate home in Brighton. In a family filled of children with glasses, his mother’s consistent cleaning of only his pair each morning before school led to constant ribbing from his siblings that he was their mother’s favorite.
In his youth, Jim was an all-star member of All-Brite Little League, and later enjoyed coaching All-Brite youth hockey. Jim was well-known for his attention to detail even during his younger days, a prime example being his frozen food displays that he would proudly and meticulously prepare as part of his job working at Horrigan’s Market.
He attended high school at St. Mary’s of Brookline, where he excelled both academically and on the baseball field. Following his graduation from St. Mary’s, Jim attended Boston College, where he studied Corporate Finance and Accounting, and was a proud member of the Class of 1981.
Jim spent close to 30 years working for Nic + Zoe (formerly Telluride Clothing Company) primarily in the role of Treasurer & CFO. While working, Jim met his former wife Cheryl, and together they raised their two children, Kyle and Ryan in Natick. Jim loved his two sons dearly, rarely missing a sports game or school event. Both Jim and Kyle cherished the endless hours spent in their backyard playing catch, throwing the football, and shooting hoops. Weekend dinners at Uno Pizzeria and Grill were fondly anticipated by both Jim and Ryan. The friendly staff ensured the corner booth was perpetually reserved for the two of them, each week Jim trying and failing to steal a slice of Ryan’s cheese pizza for himself.
Jim was a passionate softball player, initially for Joey’s Softball Club of Brighton, and later for Morn’s in Natick, his smooth left-handed swing helping to lead both teams to championships. Jim was an avid Boston sports fan, and could often be found in his favorite recliner cheering on his teams, always quick to send a text or email to his son Kyle with his analysis of the latest game. His interest in horse-racing led Jim to take a partial ownership stake in several horse stables. These ventures sent him around the country from Suffolk Downs to Keeneland to cheer his horses on.
In his later years, Jim met his soulmate and current wife, Hongyan Zhao. Always by his side and supportive throughout his battle with chronic neck pain, Hong continually motivated Jim to remain active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Jim loved going for long walks together in parks and by the water. He was especially fond of Hong’s cooking, particularly her shrimp fried rice. However, suddenly one to watch his weight, Jim could not begin eating until he had counted out the exact number of shrimp on his plate to ensure he was not overindulging!
Jim was the dear brother of Gerard Buckley of Watertown, Paul Buckley of Marshfield, Mary Jean Wallace of Medway, Joseph Buckley of Hopedale, Diane O’Shea of Medway, and the late Thomas Buckley. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend a Funeral Mass at St. Patrick’s Church, 44 East Central St. (Rt. 135) Natick, on Friday October 8th at 10am. Services will conclude with interment at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Natick. Visiting hours will occur on Thursday, October 7th from 4 - 8pm at the John Everett & Sons Funeral Home, 4 Park St, Natick Common. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of James may be made to Autism Speaks at www.autismspeaks.org.
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