Emile Juan St. James

Published on Monday, 17 April 2017 21:58


Emile Juan St. James

Emile Juan St. James, 93, died on Friday, April 14, after a long period of declining health at his home at Wingate in Norton, surrounded by his loving family and caregivers. Juan was born on May 6, 1923, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. He was the son of Emilio Juan Sanjaume and Julietta Lopez Sanjaume. After the death of his mother when he was 6, Juan was raised by his beloved grandmother, Adela Lopez, in Puerto Rico and New York City. He then lived with his uncle, Eddie, and aunt, Yini Munet, in New York City and his aunt, Jane, and uncle, Henry Lopez in New Hampshire.

Juan was class president of George Washington High School in New York City where he was a classmate of Henry Kissinger. He matriculated at New York University but left college early to join the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Lieutenant St. James proudly served as navigator on a B-17 in the 2nd Bomb Group of the 15th Air Force in North Africa and Italy. On a bombing raid over Berlin his plane was shot down and he crash landed in Lodz in Russian-occupied Poland. He was reported missing in action and it took months for the crew to make their way home. Juan earned the Air Medal for bravery.

After the war, Juan completed his education at NYU and became an international business executive for North & Judd Manufacturing Company working in their New York City office and living in Wantagh, Long Island, N.Y. In 1960 he moved to Southington, Conn., to work at corporate headquarters in New Britain, Conn. He spent four months each year travelling the world selling marine hardware, buckles and snaps. He had many interesting travel stories including drinking with Ernest Hemmingway in Havana, Cuba, sailing with Walter Cronkite in the Caribbean and having his car hijacked by federal troops in pursuit of revolutionaries in the mountains of Columbia. Juan moved his family to Medfield, Mass., in 1977 and worked for various companies until his retirement.

Juan was married to Arlyn Langley of North Smithfield, R.I., from 1944 until her death in 1982 and had two sons: Derrol and Dana. Juan was married to Marie Blondiau Robertshaw West from 1986 until her death in 2003. He is survived by his loving fiancée, Noreen Chilson of Attleboro.

He was predeceased by his son, Derrol St. James of Attleboro. He is survived by his son, Dana St. James and his wife, Eileen, of Mansfield and by his beloved grandchildren, Andrew St. James and his fiancée, Rebecca Buckler, of Philadelphia, Kyle St. James of Boston, and Julianna and Theresa St. James, both of Mansfield.

Funeral at St. Mary’s Church, 330 Pratt St. (Rt. 106), Mansfield, Thursday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Calling hours will be held at the Bolea-Amici Funeral Home, 115 N. Main St., Mansfield, Wednesday, April 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. Burial will be held at Fairview Cemetery, New Britain.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to Compassionate Care Hospice of Massachusetts, 174 Dean St., Taunton, MA 02780. www.boleafuneralservices.com

Posted in New Britain Herald, on Monday, 17 April 2017 21:58. Updated: Monday, 17 April 2017 22:00.