James S. Schlagenhaft, 77, of Little Egg Harbor passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at Southern Ocean Medical Center
.Born in Elizabeth, NJ to parents George & Bertha, James enlisted and proudly served in the United States Air Force after high school, serving as an Airman/App Air Police out of Stead Air Force Base in Reno, Nevada. It was there that James met and married his wife, Sharon (Kellis), and subsequently returned to Elizabeth upon his Honorable Discharge in 1964 with their first born son, James Stanley. They later welcomed a second child, Laura Ann, and eventually moved to Linden, NJ.
James chose his profession of electrician, and also coached boys basketball at St Hedwig's RC Grammar school in Elizabeth, winning multiple championships & tournaments. He continued as a Union electrician with what is now the IBEW Local 102 until retiring in 2002. He worked on countless electrical projects and job sites in his career, preferring long-term contracts to day bids. One particular assignment he mentioned often was the opportunity to work on the implementation of the monorail system at Disney World in Orlando, Fl. Upon retiring in 2002, James & Sharon (PopPop & Sherri) moved to Little Egg Harbor, NJ to live lagoon-life and spend their days enjoying time with family & friends and their 2 beloved granddaughters, Angela Marie & Brynn Rose.
In his past time, he loved spending time with his family and many, many friends. If you knew Jim, you were his friend. He had a heart of gold, and even though Hurricane Sandy hit him hard, along with the deaths of his wife and daughter, it couldn't break his spirit. He loved tooling around town, playing his polka & 50's music and visiting his favorite spots like The Country Dog, or maybe grabbing some jelly donuts from the bakery. He was a diehard Mets and Giants fan, and enjoyed going to the local boat races as well, and took up watching Nascar in later years, cheering for Martin Truex from his favorite recliner. He was the best PopPop to his granddaughters there ever was, attending every single concert/recital/play/musical and birthday party since they were born, no matter time or place, and he will be missed and loved forever.Jim is predeceased by his parents George & Bertha, his wife, Sharon (Kellis), brother George, and beloved daughter Laura (Halat). He is survived by his son, James & wife Gwen of Bloomsbury; his granddaughters Angela & Brynn Schlagenhaft & their mom, Nancy Taege & husband Keith of Manahawkin; son-in-law James Halat of Bloomsbury; brothers Patrick of Little Egg Harbor and Gary of Port Monmouth; sisters Dolores (Dolly) Williscroft of Ocean City and Maureen Spano & husband Mike of Lanoka Harbor. He is also survived by many, many loving nieces & nephews and extended family who are in his life and heart forever.
Viewing hours at Barnegat Funeral Home, 841 W. Bay Ave. are Sunday, October 11th from 2-6pm, with a Mass at St. Mary's Church in Barnegat on Monday, October 12th at 10:00 am. Jim will eventually have his final resting place with his wife at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetary in Wrightstown, NJ once arrangements are finalized. (www.BarnegatFH.com)
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