James Robert Rodgers Miskelly, 78, Northern Ireland always pulled at his heart

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James Robert Rodgers Miskelly
James Robert Rodgers Miskelly

LELAND — James Robert Rodgers Miskelly, 78, of Leland, passed away Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.

Jim loved his native Northern Ireland and visited yearly, cementing bonds with cousins and friends. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on July 5, 1938, and remembered the bombings and heading to the air raid shelters during WWII, and being responsible for his baby sister’s gas mask.

The family came to the United States when he was 15 years old, settled in Kearny, New Jersey, but Northern Ireland always pulled at his heart. After an early retirement, he both renovated and lived in the little cottage attached to the one where his mother, Sarah, was born. He spent several months a year there with his wife, Carol. They would have celebrated 47 years of marriage on Dec. 14.

His greatest joys were his children and grandchildren.

He is survived by his daughters, Marilyn Miskelly, Lisa Greeley (Sean) and Jill Ann Miskelly-Roth; and grandchildren, Mariah Elizabeth and Jordyn Miskelly, Liliana and Olivia Greeley. He was brother to Marlene White (Ivan) and Ann Doherty (John) and also uncle to Erik Henderson, Allyson and Ian Doherty.

We are at peace knowing he was able to put his arms once again around his dear son, Robert Rodgers, who left us too early at age 19. May they enjoy eternity together and share in the love of God.

Jim had the gift of storytelling and loved to entertain with stories about his shenanigans with friends growing up in Northern Ireland and those he worked with over the years. He has kept lifelong friendships since his high school days and early work life through retirement, making sure to always keep in touch.

Jim graduated from Kearny High School, Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, and graduate studies at Rutgers University. He enjoyed his career in mechanical engineering starting as a staff member at Stevens Institute and retiring at age 50 from his own company, which designed and developed machinery for the pharmaceutical industry. He was well known and respected throughout his career as he traveled the world.

He was our rock and patriarch, the person you went to for advice whether it be a difficult life decision, financial questions, building, renovating and designing or just someone to listen. He had a quick and brilliant mind and always lent a helping hand when needed. Jim loved the beauty and art of both classic and luxury automobiles, having owned over a hundred in his lifetime and enjoyed visiting car shows. Jim loved the water and boating. He and Carol enjoyed cruising for many years; they enjoyed traveling and entertaining friends.

He will be terribly missed by family and friends worldwide who have been blessed to call him husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at First Presbyterian Church, 125 S. 3rd St., Wilmington. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at Andrews Mortuary Market Street, 1617 Market St., Wilmington.