James J. McCrohon, 85, of Shrewsbury

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James J. McCrohonShrewsbury – James J. “Maxi” McCrohon, 85, longtime Shrewsbury resident, passed away peacefully Jan. 9, 2021, surrounded by his loving family.

Along with his beloved wife of 63 years, Marie B. (Curran) McCrohon, James leaves his children, James M. McCrohon of Winchendon, Kathy Ann McCrohon of Petersham, and Mary Lee Harrington and her husband John of Winchendon; his grandchildren, Jonathan W Harrington, James M Harrington, Gregory A Kasper, Patrick T Harrington, Bridget Marie Harrington, and Garrett A Kasper; his great-grandchildren, Sadie and Piper Harrington; his sister, Maddy Figueras of Shrewsbury; and five nieces and nephew. James was predeceased by his parents, Joseph McCrohon and Mary (Lapinsky) Cernis; step-father, Vincent Cernis; and brother, Ronald McCrohon.

Born and raised in Worcester, he was a graduate of Saint John’s High School, Worcester, prior to enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict. James was honorably discharged in 1955, after which he attended Boston University, where he received a B.A. and M.S.W. in Social Work. He dedicated his life to serving children and families through his work at Volunteers of America, McCrohon House, Catholic Charities, Family Services, and as Director of Madonna Hall in Marlborough.

James was one of the original founding members of the “Jug O’Punch” Irish Band along with “Uncle” Dan Dewolfe – singing and playing banjo, bodhran, harmonica, tin whistle, and performing weekly for forty years at the Old Timer’s in Clinton.

His knowledge of Celtic music was extensive, and his love for it was boundless. He relished playing music with his grandsons and was enormously proud when they formed their own Irish band, Slainte, and gained popularity in the Boston/NYC area.

James also loved watching his grandkids’ sporting events, spending time outdoors racing sailboats at Regatta Point with his son, Jay, and gardening in his beautiful yard. He was an active alum in Saint John’s activities and was a frequent supporter/attendee of events, especially athletics, to which he dedicated himself when he was a student. He kept active playing golf with his buddies including his beloved brother Ronny, and many of his friends from the St. John’s Boola-Boola Gang.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Saint John’s in memory of Maxi McCrohon, c/o Saint John’s High School, 378 Main St., Shrewsbury, MA 01545.

Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the McCrohon family Friday, Jan. 15, between 9:30 and 10:45 a.m., at Saint Mary’s Church, 640 Main St., Shrewsbury, where his funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Masks and social distancing measures will be required upon entering the church. Burial with military honors will be held privately. The Britton-Shrewsbury Funeral Home is honored to be assisting with arrangements.