Attorney James J. Haggerty of Dunmore died Tuesday in Naples, Fla. His wife is the former Cecelia Lynett. The couple would have celebrated 45 years of marriage on Feb. 19.
Born in Scranton, son of the late James J. and Margaret Kearney Haggerty Cummings, he was a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School, the College of the Holy Cross and Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a member of the Law Review. He received honorary degrees from Villanova University and the University of Scranton. Jim served active duty in the Army Infantry and as a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard and Army Reserve. Jim served as law clerk to the Honorable William J. Nealon, chief judge, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania. A lifelong friend and adviser to former Gov. Robert P. Casey, Jim served as the secretary of the commonwealth and later as general counsel to the late governor. At the time of his death, Jim was a partner in the Scranton law firm of Haggerty, McDonnell & Hinton, formerly Casey, Haggerty & McDonnell and later Haggerty, McDonnell & O’Brien. He also served as president of the Lackawanna County Bar Association and was a permanent member of the Third Circuit Judicial Conference. Jim served as chairman of the board of trustees for the University of Scranton and Scranton Preparatory School. He was president of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Lackawanna County and served as director of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Lackawanna County. Jim was also a member of the board of directors at the Country Club of Scranton and First National Community Bank.
Jim was a loving and vibrant man, known to close friends as "the Big Fella," and recognized by countless others who had the privilege to befriend him as larger than life. Jim had a renowned sense of humor and an ease with people that endeared him to all whose lives he touched. His infectious personality was outdone by his impressive professional accomplishments as a successful lawyer. He was respected by his peers and revered by fellow members of the bar for his honesty, ethics and fair dealing. He ranks among the most loyal Dunmoreans and Democrats of all time. Loyalty was paramount to his very being. Above all, Jim was a devoted husband, father and grandfather and the most positive role model to those he loved so dearly. His favorite times were spent with his sons and friends golfing at the Country Club of Scranton, and he most relished time spent with family. Summers in Avalon, N.J., with his wife, children and grandchildren brought him indescribable joy. Jim’s generosity in life continued as an organ donor.
Also surviving are seven children, Jean McGrath and husband, Christopher, Dunmore; Mauri Collins and husband, Joseph, Scottsdale, Ariz.; James J. Haggerty Jr. and fiancée, Wendy Lettieri, Scranton; Matthew and wife, Christina O’Brien Haggerty, Scranton; Cecelia O’Rourke and husband, James, New York, N.Y.; Daniel Haggerty and fiancée, Meghan Stott, Wilkes-Barre; and Kathleen James and husband, Brian, Scranton; 18 grandchildren, James, Christopher, Cecelia, Nora and Margaret McGrath; Clare, Catherine, Cecelia, Rita and Elizabeth Collins; Abigail, Caroline, Cecelia and Matthew Haggerty; Brian, Patrick, Edward and Margaret James; several nieces and nephews. He was also preceded in death by a brother, Joseph O. Haggerty; and his stepfather, John P. Cummings.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday at 10 a.m. at St. Paul’s Church, 1510 Penn Ave., Scranton. Friends may call today from 4 to 8 p.m. at the church. Those attending the Mass are asked to go directly to the church. Interment, St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow.
Memorial contributions may be made to Scranton Preparatory School, 1000 Wyoming Ave., Scranton, PA 18509. Arrangements by the Vanston & James Funeral Home, Scranton.