James J. Mannix, 81, of Tinton Falls died Saturday, January 30, 2021 after a lifetime of happiness, fun, and adventure. Jim was born in Union City on July 25, 1939. He attended St. Michael’s High School Union City where he was a star basketball player. His high school yearbook described him as “Harry High School, not a worry in the world." He lived with this carefree outlook his whole life. He was known for his charm, wit, and sense of humor. After graduating high school in 1957, he and his four best friends enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He was stationed in Naples, Italy and played basketball for the Marine Corps. After returning home, he began his 32 year career on Wall Street. Starting in the mail room, he worked his way up to Senior Vice President and member of the Board of Directors at Advest.
He and Barbara met on March 8, 1975 when Barbara was working at Gucci on 5th Avenue. He went in to buy a pair of loafers and walked out with a date. Nine months later, on December 21, 1975 they were married at Trinity Church on Wall Street. The couple lived in Manhattan before moving to Monmouth Beach in 1978. Raising his family in Glen Ridge, Jim was always involved in Kelly and Alison’s lives, always their biggest supporter and fan, attending every game, lifeguard tournament, and swim meet. In 1990 he retired and moved to his favorite place of all - Monmouth Beach. An avid beach-goer, he traveled the world’s best beaches, but believed there was none better than Little Monmouth. You always knew where to find him: with his beach chair and sun-faded LL Bean beach bag, he stayed in the ocean for hours, sharing his stories and jokes with anyone who would listen.
He was often lauded as having the best stories and he could tell them like no other. He made you feel like you were part of the memory. His charismatic personality was magnetic. Jim had a way of speaking to people that made you feel valued and understood. His unbridled generosity was a hallmark of his personality, he never looked for anything in return. He was always up for a good time and a good story or joke...often both. His greatest pleasures were his family, a good meal, live music, dancing, and spending time with people. Jim’s heart was as big as his achievements and his legacy will live on through the lives he touched and the memories that were made. Whether you knew him as Mannix, Jim, Nani, Dad, Buddy, Mr. Mannix, Uncle Manny, Uncle Jim, Poppy, or Crazy Poppy, he was someone who left a lasting impression and made you feel alive.
Jim was the beloved husband of Barbara Mannix for 45 years; the devoted father of Kelly Sullivan and her husband Sully of Madison NJ, and Alison Peduto and her husband Michael of Fair Haven NJ; he was the adoring and devoted grandfather of Kieran and Eamon Sullivan and Emily and August Peduto. He was the loving son of the late James and Ida Mannix. He was predeceased by brother-like cousins Joseph O’Donnell and his wife Grace, Timothy O’Donnell, and Dick Nonelle. He leaves behind his beloved nieces and nephews Courtney, Chris, Damon, and the rest of the O’Donnell clan as well as Billy and Eric Sterlacci.
Jim will be sorely missed but not forgotten. For to know him was to love him and that love will never fade. Jim always loved this poem and instructed us to share it upon his death.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
-Mary Elizabeth Frye
Please take a few moments to view the slideshow that Jim’s family has put together. Make sure to turn up the volume! He would have wanted everyone to dance along.
The family plans to have a memorial service in July, as Jim requested his ashes be scattered at Monmouth Beach. We ask all who loved him to celebrate his life by remembering all the laughs and good times they had together. The family invites you to leave a letter of condolence by selecting the Tribute/Guestbook link above. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Jim’s memory to the Surfrider Foundation, dedicated to the enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches https://www.surfrider.org/support-surfrider.