Former resident was a devoted family man

Published in the April 14, 2016 edition

James-Brophy-Obitd-webSOUTH YARMOUTH — James E. Brophy, a resident of South Yarmouth and formerly of North Reading and Melrose, passed away at home surrounded by his loving family on Saturday, April 9, 2016, at age 83.

Jim was born in Melrose on July 9, 1932, one of two sons of the late John T. and Mary E. (O’Donnell) Brophy. He graduated with the Class of 1951 from Melrose High School where he lettered in football. Jim was a regular neighborhood kid, playing baseball and basketball on the common and tobogganing down East Foster Street. Upon his graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving during the Korean War and receiving an honorable discharge in 1954. On Sept. 23, 1956 he married his high school sweetheart, Marcia M. Black at St. Mary Church in Melrose. They settled in Melrose and later North Reading to raise a family of three children and enjoyed a loving partnership and mutual admiration throughout their 56 years of marriage.

Mr. Brophy followed in the footsteps of his grandfather as a heavy equipment operator. A longtime member of Local No. 4, International Union of Operating Engineers, Mr. Brophy worked for the Franki Foundation as a Hoisting Engineer for many years. He traveled extensively while working for the international company on job sites from New England to Barbados. Mr. Brophy was a strong, silent perfectionist who led by example with his loyalty and work ethic.

Jim had a natural ability to work with his hands. In his free time, he crafted wooden tables and cabinets, restored old cars especially his favorite Mustang and renovated bathrooms and kitchens with ease. He could fix anything and was always willing to help his family or his many friends.

Mr. Brophy was a devoted family man and a loyal friend to many. He cherished his wife and they enjoyed many trips together from Las Vegas to California, Florida, the Grand Canyon, Barbados, Ireland and Portugal. As a father, he was a strict yet loving and supportive presence. Jim watched as his children played sports, often umpiring games and providing encouragement. He continued as a grandfather, always present for sporting events, dance recitals or competitions.

He was comfortable living on Cape Cod, loved his home in South Yarmouth and especially enjoyed relaxing on the back patio. Later in life, he enjoyed re–connecting with old friends online and catching up with a phone call. Jim’s last few weeks were an example of his grace and strength as he realized his time was short. His sincerity and concern for others never wavered as he reached out to say goodbye to those closest to him. Jim’s legacy of love and care for family and friends will live on in the hearts of his family.

Jim was the beloved husband of the late Marcia M. (Black) Brophy with whom he shared 56 years of marriage.  He was the devoted father of Karen J. Twomey and her husband Jack of Melrose, Robert J. Brophy and his wife Deborah of North Reading and John S. Brophy and his wife Korey of Harwich.  He was the dear brother of John T. Brophy and his wife Joanne of Syracuse, N.Y. and the cherished grandfather of Erin Galvin and her husband Stephen, Sean Twomey and his girlfriend Aleksandra, Kristyn Brophy, Matthew Brophy, Emily Brophy and Justin Brophy.  He was the loving great–grandfather of Stephen and Liam Galvin, and Roman and Alexander Twomey. He is also survived by a large extended family.

Relatives and friends honored and remembered Jim’s life by gathering for visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Tuesday, April 12  again on Wednesday morning  before leaving in procession to St. Mary Church, Herbert Street, Melrose for his funeral Mass. Gifts in honor of Jim may be made to the Faustman Lab, MGH-East, Immunology Labs, Bldg. 149, 13th St., Rm 3602, Charlestown MA 02129 or American Diabetes Association, 330 Congress St., Boston MA 02210 or VNA Hospice of Cape Cod, 434 Rt. 134, Dennis MA 02660. For online tribute or to share a memory visit