James E. “Jim” Hyland Jr, 87, of New Milford, Connecticut, died peacefully on Saturday, October 24, 2020 after a battle with Alzheimer’s. He was the husband of the late Ann “Nancy” Sullivan Hyland. Jim was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, on February 27, 1933, son of the late James E. and Helen Kiely Hyland.
A life-long resident of New Milford, he attended St. Francis School, Marianapolis Prep School and Providence College, Class of 1955, graduating with a B.S. in Economics. He and Nancy returned to New Milford in 1957 where he operated the family business, Dolan’s Stationery Store, on Bank Street while spending weekends on the Hyland Family Farm on Long Mountain. In 1960, Jim began his career as a Systems Analyst at Litton Industries in Oakville, Connecticut, and remained there until his retirement in 1989.
Jim was a lifelong communicant of St. Francis Xavier Church in New Milford and was an original member of the St. Francis Boys Brigade Drum Corps. He served on the Parish Council from 1968 to 1971 and was instrumental in the development and expansion of the parish from its original location on Elm Street to its current location on Chestnut Land Road. Jim served the parish for over 75 years as an altar boy, lector and extraordinary minister. After his wife’s death in 2003, Jim became the volunteer church manager and he especially enjoyed constructing the haunted houses and creating beautiful Christmas displays each year.
Jim was a gifted athlete, excelling in both basketball and baseball. He enjoyed attending his children’s and grandchildren’s sporting events. Jim was also an avid Providence College Basketball fan.
A self-taught architect and master craftsman, Jim built the family home in New Milford as well their beach house in Charlestown, RI. The family spent many happy years down at the shore with their relatives, the Okolowitcz and Brennan families.
Jim was predeceased by his Beloved Nancy. It is of great comfort to the family that they are finally reunited. He is survived by four children: James Hyland III and his wife Sharon of New Berlin, WI and Humble, TX, Judith Hyland of Newtown, CT, Joan Zaccaro and her husband Michael of Newtown, CT and Justin Hyland and his wife Jennifer of Houston, TX. Jim is also survived by seven grandchildren: Jaclyn Ann Hyland, James E Hyland IV, Michael J. Zaccaro Jr, Nicole Ann Zaccaro, Jake Patrick Hyland, Josh Andrew Hyland and Jill Reagan Hyland, as well as by several nieces and nephews.
Jim’s cousin, the late M. Joseph “Joe” Lillis, was a lifelong friend who spent many years in the Hyland kitchen entertaining the family with stories about the history of both the family and of New Milford. He was also predeceased by his brother, Jerome Hyland. Jim is survived by his cousins Dr. Joanne Lillis, Lawrence Lillis and John Lillis, all of whom he enjoyed spending time with over the holiday seasons.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a Mass of Christian Burial will be held for family members only at St. Francis Xavier Church, New Milford. Burial will follow at St. Francis Cemetery. A service in memory of Jim will be celebrated when friends and family can safely gather. The Lillis Funeral Home oversees the arrangements.
The family sends a special thank you to the staff at The Commons at Newtown, Newtown Rehabilitation & Health Care Center and Athena Health Care Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jim’s name may be made to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, For Dr. Lai’s Head and Neck Cancer Research, PO Box 4486, Houston, TX 77210-4486 or via the website mdanderson.org/gifts.
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