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James Francis Carden, known to friends as both "Jim" and “Daddy Jim”, passed away on July 20, 2018, at the age of 88 years after a prolonged struggle with pulmonary and cardiac illness.
A native of Youngstown, Ohio, and longtime resident of Westfield, New Jersey, Jim graduated from Chaney High School in 1948 and briefly attended Youngstown University before joining the United States Air Force, where he became a fighter pilot in the 319th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, flying F-94B all-weather fighter planes in Korea. Returning to the US, he flew F-94C fighters in the 26th Air Defense Wing, where he scored a world record in air-to-air rocketry target competition. After leaving the Air Force, Jim became a commercial airline pilot, flying for United, Northeast, Trans Caribbean, and finally as a Captain for American Airlines. Jim was passionate about flying, but his main love was his wife and family. He was a loyal friend and helpful neighbor. Home renovations and improvements were second nature to Jim, and he loved working on projects in his home and the homes of his three children, as well as friends. After retirement in 1990, Jim became active in Habitat for Humanity, using his handyman skills for the benefit of others. He enjoyed travelling the world with his family, but always found time to travel back to his family roots and relations in Ohio, where he will now be laid to rest in the Old Home Cemetery.
He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Rosella (Ro), his children, Cathy (Rob) Shaffer, Jamie Carden-Leventhal, and Jimmer (Lisa) Carden, his four grandchildren, PJ and Lydia Leventhal, and Miles and Aidan Carden, his brother John (Donna) Carden of Boardman, Ohio, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Visitation and a celebration of Jim’s life will be held from 3 pm to 7 pm on Friday, July 27th at the Higgins and Bonner Funeral Home, 582 Springfield Avenue, Westfield, New Jersey, with a brief memorial service at 6:30.
In Lieu of flowers, memorial donations in memory of Jim Carden can be made to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield and Middlesex County, New Jersey: http://www.habitatgpmc.org/ phone - (888) 557-6032