Shrewsbury – James F. Browning of Shrewsbury, formerly of Westborough, passed away Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at UMass University hospital after a short illness.
Jim was born in 1923 in Somerville, son of the late James and Frances (Cleary) Browning. He had three siblings who preceded him in death, Arthur Browning, Bernice Browning Gomes, and William Cowie. His wife of 49 years, Jane (Bacon) Browning, predeceased him in 2001.
He is survived by his five children, Michael Browning and his wife Nancy of Winston-Salem, N.C.; Mark Browning and his wife Rebecca of Marydel, Del.; Ann Moerdyk and her husband Steven of Rockford, Mich.; Sandra Bradshaw and her husband Charles of Grafton; and Ellen Connelly and her husband James of North Attleborough. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, Lauren Browning Freudenburger and her husband Adam; Marka Browning and Kari Browning Kelly, her husband Ryan and their daughter, Brynlee Jane; Carly Moerdyk Oboudiyat, her husband Kia and their son Sam James and James Moerdyk; Timothy Bradshaw and Mark Bradshaw; James Connelly, Sam Connelly, and Emma Connelly, and a half-brother, Richard Browning of Illinois.
During World War II, Jim was a proud member of the 3rd Marine Division, 1st Battalion, A Company, and fought in the Bougainville, Guam and Iwo Jima campaigns, bearing witness to the raising of the American flag at the summit of Mt. Suribachi.
After WWII, Jim attended Winslow Business School in Boston and became a court reporter. He moved his new wife to Fairbanks, Alaska where he worked for seven years at Ladd Air Force Base and transcribed military hearings during the cold war. He later moved back to Massachusetts, where he first lived in Brockton for four years, then settled in Westborough for 24 years, finally moving to Shrewsbury in 1986. He worked as the chief court reporter at the Worcester Superior Court for 33 years before retiring in 1996.
Jim took great pleasure in spending time with his family, and especially loved being with them in Ocean City, N.J., and beating all his grandchildren in horseshoes and Monopoly. He was truly the king of the beach.
He was an active member of the Boroughs YMCA, working out 3-4 times per week and enjoying the many friendships he established there. He always had a joke to share and loved making people laugh.
Family and friends will honor and remember Jim's life by gathering for a calling hour Saturday, July 12, from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m., at Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors ~ The Sumner House, 5 Church Road, on the Common, Shrewsbury Center, before leaving in procession to Saint Anne's Church, 130 Boston Tpke., Shrewsbury, where his funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Burial will be private.
In honor of Jim's great pride in being a Marine, the family asks that you consider a donation to the Semper Fi Fund (Semperfifund.org), Semper Fi Fund, 715 Broadway Street, Quantico, VA 22134, an organization assisting wounded Marines. Once a Marine, always a Marine.