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James M. Delany

September 21, 1968 February 14, 2016
James M. Delany
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Obituary for James M. Delany

Jim Delany will be forever defined by his love of Jesus and his love for his family. They were the two constants that intertwined and motivated everything else he involved himself within his lifetime.

The strong faith that carried him through his life and this fight against lymphoma began somewhere between Woodville and Hudson WI on I94 in the fall of 1996 during an inadvertent listening of KTIS 98.5fm while on the way to work. He had been under the pressures of life and was looking to find some hope and relief for how heavy everything felt to him at the time. While listening, Jim realized he was at the spot in life where he acknowledged he had always known about God, recognized God personally, yet didn't have God the way he had noticed others experiencing God in their lives...and he wanted that...he needed that...so when the radio host offered how to make a decision to invite Jesus to take up that residence within (and all that was going on in it) he took it: diving in head first. He further asked God to take over the direction of his life, whatever form that may take, for each day. He didnt want religion. He wanted change.

Building on his faith-filled upbringing from his home church in Ashwaubenon, the change he sought in that morning moment began and was apparent to all who were close to him. It became a part of how he did things, said things and lived out the every day. It was integral for him. His faith became unflinching under the transformation of his continual developing devotion, love and trust in the God he had now come to know so personally.

Some of the biggest obstacles in his life came under Gods love, grace and forgiveness and that began to build into Jim that God could do it all as it paved the way for him to always (always) say "Gods got this" in every situation and especially during the last two years. Thus, cancer was never a source of anxiety for him. He knew his life was in Gods hands and he rested in knowing God would be with him always with His promises being his shield and protection. This was especially evident on the day he was welcomed to his new cancer free reality: his last day on this earth. Jim knew how to love and he embraced life and its challenges without fear, something only a few of us can accomplish while here.

He met and married Tamara Griffin after five years of meeting her his first day on the campus of UW-River Falls. Tamara was working the residence hall check-in table for pre-season football and Jim was there to play as a freshman. Over a course of chance meetings, spanning five years, they began to date in January of 1990, became engaged January 31, 1991 and married August 3rd of the same year. They became the couple that most people said you are the perfect couple and you are the most fun to be around. They would equally share wide grins, lots of laughter and witty humor often using movie line quotes for intonation i.e. "have fun storming the castle" when walking out the door for work. Jim loved to write notes and hide them around the house for Tam to find and he loved her till she was convinced of it through and through, and then loved her more, something she had never experienced in any other relationship. His children always knew that even though marriage had its ups and downsthe love and commitment always became deeper as a result of them.

He loved his children, Mike and McKenna, with every fiber of his being even when they were just the hopes and dreams of a guy who had just become married. He valued the idea of family so much so he wanted honeymoon babies. He used to say nothing compared to the days they were born. They gave him such contentment and he was so immensely proud of who they were choosing to be while growing up that he would rearrange the universe (literally) to be at any event they were involved in.. Yet he equally took time to just be with them in the quiet ordinary times in the pulse of everyday family togetherness.

His favorite family times included: times outside together (fishing was tops) or seeing McKenna and Mike play in music concerts, sports or school plays.really anything that they enjoyed - he enjoyed, watching home movies of when they were babies, traveling in the car to an endpoint of fun and family amusement (lots of these!), being with friends, daytrips to Lake Superior/Duluth on the shoreline flying stunt kites or berry picking, telling his own growing-up stories while playing board games around the dining room table. Woodworking and playing guitar were mental getaways for him after a long week but he never excluded anyone who wanted to join in, especially Mike or McKenna. He loved to curl up on the couch and just hang out with them listening to them tell what they had to share: nonsense to importance and everything inbetween. He was a hands-on-dad from the second they were born and felt it was his job to make sure they felt encouraged and deeply loved with everything they did regardless of their personal outcomes.

His career in flexible packaging allowed him to travel outside the country to Australia, Italy, Japan and China among other destinations. Co-workers would say Jim had the cooperative ability to support and ease any situation. He carried the attitude that the potential was always a possibility. If he could provide anything to help someone.he would offer. No work was too basic or too complex or unapproachable by him. Nothing was ever too big or small to find his attention. It was second nature for him to back those around him to find the success needed for the moment. He was a natural in the field and quickly and easily picked up the technology and processes and became a wheel house of knowledge for the many he worked alongside. Jim enjoyed what he did for a living so much so he didnt like to call it work.

Choosing to live life was something he did with immense passion. He loved life. His genuineness drew people instantly. He honestly would light up a room, any room; no matter what he was experiencing in his own life. His smile was the most infectious thing next to his generous and deeply anchored personality, which we saw daily, regardless that his fight with cancer was the toughest and most aggressive some medically had ever seen. His heart was always filled with a glass-half-full perception. He would inspire those around him through love and understanding that would lead to the kindheartedness that was his signature mark. He loved music, all music. It was a breathing space to him. He could sing the lyrics to just about any song in the last 40 years of any genre, but Christian and Country topped the charts, and some select

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