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James R. Gazzaniga, 87

November 13, 2017

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — James Robert Gazzaniga, 87, of Williamstown, Mass., died Monday, November 13, 2017, at Berkshire Medical Center. 

He was born in North Adams, Mass., on March 18, 1930, son of Louis Paul Gazzaniga and Giuseppina (Della Bianca) Gazzaniga.  He attended Mark Hopkins School and graduated from Drury High School. He earned his Bachelor's and Master’s degrees from North Adams State College. Jim was a veteran of the Korean War and served in the U.S. Navy. 

Jim served as a guidance counselor and career coordinator at Mount Greylock Regional High School for 29 years until his retirement in 1990. Following his retirement, he worked as a sales representative for Jack Anderson Associates. For many years, Jim also worked alongside his brothers in the Gazzaniga family business. 

Jim was proud of his 36 years as a member of the School Committee at McCann Technical High School and also served as president of the Williamstown Municipal Federal Credit Union. He was a longtime member of the Williamstown Rotary Club. He was a communicant of Sts. Patrick and Raphael Parish.  

Jim genuinely cared about people, and loved time with family, friends and colleagues. He was a wonderful listener and treasured the new and long lasting connections he made with so many. He was especially proud of his five granddaughters.

Survivors include his wife, T. Joan (Koonz) Gazzaniga, whom he married on November 24, 1956; one daughter, Sheila A. Costello and her husband, Francis, of Newtown, Pa.; two sons, James R. Gazzaniga Jr. and his wife, Melissa, of South Glastonbury, Conn., and John P. Gazzaniga of Edgartown, Mass.; five granddaughters, including Kate Gazzaniga, Sarah Gazzaniga, Molly Costello, Kerry Costello, and Emily Gazzaniga; and nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.  

He was predeceased by two sisters and five brothers, including Helen Parisien and Florence Netherwood and Angelo, Harold, Henry, Louis and William Gazzaniga.

Funeral notice: A Liturgy of Christian Burial to celebrate the life of James Gazzaniga will be held Friday, November 17, 2017, at 11 a.m. at Sts. Patrick and Raphael Church, Southworth Street, Williamstown, Mass. Burial will be in Southview Cemetery.  

A calling hour at the church will be Friday morning from 10 to 11 a.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or the St. Patrick Food Pantry in care of Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, Central Chapel, 74 Marshall St. North Adams, MA 01247.

Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
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Deepest sympathy to all the family...He was a wonderful person.
from: Anne Mazzu Clearyon: 11-19-2017

Condolences to his family, Jim was the most kind human being I have ever met. He was the best ambassador McCann Tech could hope for, we all strive to replicate his dedicated approach and guidance to the youth of our time. I still remember him handing me my diploma in 1988. RIP Mr. Gazzaniga
from: Ed Rondeauon: 11-16-2017

To the Gazzaniga family. Jim was a wonderful husband father and grandfather. He was also a great friend, business associate and mentor to me. I will truly miss him. So sorry for your loss.
Joe Alabiso
from: Joe Alabisoon: 11-16-2017

Sending our heartfelt sympathy to family and friends. I was fortunate to serve with Jim on the McCann School Committe and he was such a kind and compassionate man. He will be greatly missed.
from: Heather Boulgeron: 11-15-2017

Joan - My heartfelt sympathies to you and your family on Jim's passing. Although it's been years since I've seen him, I remember him and his wonderful smile, kindness and friendliness. May he rest in peace.

from: Arlene Judge Armataon: 11-15-2017

To the Gazzaniga Family,
Sending heartfelt sympathy to all of you. He was my guidance counselor at Mt. Greylock Regional High School for the Class of 1962. We were the first class to graduate and he made sure we got all the confidence and incentive we needed to graduate and become future citizens. He always listened and cared about all the students. May he rest in Peace. Such a wonderful man. We will miss him at our reunions. Sincere Sympathy, Caroline(George) and Bruce Martel.
from: Caroline Martelon: 11-15-2017

Mrs. Gazzaniga, James, John and Sheila.
I offer up prayers unto The Lord God to y'all during your time of sorrow at Mr. Gazzaniga'S passing. One of the best guidance counselors I had during my time at Greylock.

In Jesus' name.

Billy Fix Jr
from: Bill Fix Jron: 11-15-2017

never knew where I was going in 10th grade, but this man always gave me direction, James will be greatly missed He always knew the right thing to say ! RIP James
from: Wayne A Esteson: 11-15-2017

With Jim's passing I've lost a dear friend of 50+ years, a friend both socially and academically....a loss that will be long felt throughout our communities. We met first when Jim was a counselor at Mt. Greylock and I held a similar position at McCann. He later served on the McCann School Committee during all of my 18 years as Superintendent. A more dedicated and honest person would not be found. He was a champion for what will best serve our students, never wavering in his quest to do the right thing.
I will always remember our family gatherings together and our occasional "military trips" throughout the country. But, above all else, Jim will be remembered as a wonderful family man who cherished his spouse, children and grandchildren.
from: Howard Brookneron: 11-15-2017

A bigger piece of my life than he probably realized. He was too humble to think of himself so. He volunteered heartfelt guidance when I first arrived in Williamstown. I reflected on his wisdom often, and it served me well. I cherished his impromptu visits to my office, and have missed him since and now always will. A giant at McCann.
from: Peter Fohlinon: 11-15-2017

Our thoughts go out to Jim's family. Jim was a real presence at Mt. Greylock and in the Northern Berkshire community., He influenced many lives through his many contriubtions.
from: Jack and DeeDee Stovelon: 11-15-2017

Dear Joan and family,
I was saddened to learn of Jim's passing. We joked often about our status as "kissing cousins". He will greatly missed by many. Sending my sincerest condolences.
from: Nancy(Parisien) Bulletton: 11-15-2017

Joan, Sheila, James and John; I am so sorry to hear that Jim has passed away. He was a true gentleman. Jim was my Guidance Counselor at Mt. Greylock High School, and he inspired me to become a School Counselor myself. I was fortunate enough to be able to work closely with him for many years at Greylock....he was a wonderful role model. Please accept my most sincere condolences.
from: P.J. Pannescoon: 11-15-2017

What a shock to see that Jim had passed. My prayers our with you, Joan and with the children & their families.
from: Ruth B Goetschon: 11-15-2017

I was so shocked when I heard the news this morning. Our deepest condolences to you, Aunt Joan.

J, T, and the kids
from: Joyceon: 11-14-2017

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