James John Pandolfo, Sr., also lovingly known as Twiggy, Bubbles, Lt. Pandolfo, Officer Pandolfo, Mr. P., James, Jimmy, Jim, Jimbo, Uncle Jim, Brother, Son, Cousin, Dad, and Popa, departed this life on October 19, 2021, after a long, courageous, and stubborn battle with cancer.
James was born on December 15, 1958, in Middletown to Sebastian J. Pandolfo and Marie (Barone) Pandolfo, the youngest of three children. He grew up there, attending local schools, and was a member of Vinal Tech’s Class of 1977. Shortly after that he enlisted in the United States Army and served at Fort Lee, Virginia, achieving the rank of SP4, and was part of the 555th MP Company.
He entered the nuclear security field at Connecticut Yankee and never looked back, moving from guard to security manager there and subsequently held the latter position at Seabrook Station in New Hampshire. Upon his return to Connecticut, he was employed by Millstone Station in Waterford.
During this time, he became a Mason with the Anchor Lodge #112 located in East Hampton, attaining the title of Worshipful Master. He was also a member of the Sphinx Shrine in Newington.
James was a proud graduate of clown college, often making the trip back with friends to judge other classes as a craftsman clown. He was fond of learning new tricks, jokes, and balloon animals that he then tortured his wife and children with. He enjoyed marching with his fellow clowns in many a holiday parade, charming the pub crowds with them afterwards with an array of elaborate but always fun balloon creatures.
Later in his career James began working at the Cromwell Fire Department as an EMR. He loved working there, answering calls, driving Fire Truck 3, and just helping the community any way he could. Many family gatherings saw him jumping up to head out the door at first sound of his radio.
This time in his life also saw him begin with the State of Connecticut at Connecticut Valley Hospital as an officer with the BGPO. He loved his time there, meeting and working with so many wonderful people. He also delighted in talking to the residents he met.
But where he shone most brightly was with his family. His best and favorite roles were those of dad, uncle, cousin, son, brother, and Popa. He came alive around family and close friends, a great storyteller and prankster. He was known to wake his children up way back when with Super Soakers. He drew his strength from family, always reminding us that the lone stick can bend and break but a bunch of them together are capable of amazing strength. He had a warm but often mischievous smile. He would tell those around him to smile and give their ears a ride. He will be so missed but always be so loved and remembered, forever a part of everything his family does.
James is survived by Kim (Clark), his wife of 36 years; his daughter Courtney Hungerford, of Wethersfield; his daughter Jamie Tinker and her husband Jeff, of Wethersfield, and grandchildren KarLeigh, KaitLynn, and Luke; his son James J. Pandolfo, Jr., and his fiancé Tina, of Berlin, and grandchildren Jalena, Giavanna, and Gabriel; his son Jeremy Hungerford and his wife Kham, of Cromwell, and grandchildren Nyomi, Jackson, and Ayden; son DJ Remsen and fiancé Jill, of Middletown; his brother Sebastian V. Pandolfo and wife Linda, of East Haddam; his sister Dianne Timbro and her husband Sebastian, of FL; a host of beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins; his daughter Melissa Ruot, of New Britain; his daughter Nicole Laterra and her husband Tony, of Cromwell, and grandchildren Taylor, Brooke, Kylie, and Alyssa; and a very special friend to the family, Judy Carson.
Calling hours for James will be held at the Cromwell Funeral Home, 506 Main Street, Cromwell, on Thursday, October 28th from 4:00pm to 7:00pm, and a Celebration of James Life will be held on Friday, October 29th at the Elks Lodge, 44 Maynard Street, Middletown from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Closer to Free GivetoYNHH.org, Yale New Haven Hospital, Office of Development, P.O. Box 1849, New Haven, CT 06508-9979. To share memories or send condolences to the family please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.
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