A live stream of the service can be accessed by visiting https://youtube.com/@geschwindtstabingas9614
Commander James J. Haffey Jr., USNR (Ret.) died unexpectedly Saturday, April 29, 2023 at home at the age of 74.
Born in Hazleton, he was a son of James J. and Mary A. (Boyle) Haffey. He was raised in Schuylkill Haven and graduated from St. Francis Preparatory School, Spring Grove.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Kings College and his master’s degree in social restoration from Lehigh University. He did additional course work at Penn State, Temple
and Widener Universities.
For most of his adult life, Jim pursued a dual career path, working both in education and in the US Navy Reserve. He worked for Schuylkill Intermediate Unit, establishing the
Operation P.L.U.S. program of alternative education for at-risk students. Later, he created another IU program, Counsel House, which served as a day-treatment and counseling service. He worked as its supervisor, as well as co-principal of the Maple Avenue School.
As a member of the US Navy Reserve, he was deeply committed to that second career. He entered the reserves as an enlistee, but then graduated from Officer Candidate School. He served in the Naval Investigative Service (NIS), which later became Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Jim worked in force protection and criminal investigations. He trained at Hazleton, Willow Grove, and Warminster in Pennsylvania, as well as at Pensacola FL, Lakehurst NJ, Washington DC and Newport RI. He served in Germany, England, Iceland, Italy and Australia, then retired as a commander after 28 years.
Early in his career as an educator, Jim worked with a team of other teachers, counselors, and law enforcement workers to create Volunteers for Youth in Schuylkill County, serving as its first board president. That group later became Big brothers/Big Sisters of Schuylkill County and is now Big Impact Group of Schuylkill. Jim remained an active board member for more than four decades.
He also served the community as president of the Citizens’ Water Company of Deer Lake, as a member of Deer Lake Borough Council, and as a member of the Schuylkill County Scholar Athlete Committee. A lifelong member of St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church in Schuylkill Haven, he served as an altar server, lector, president of the men’s club, and a member of the parish financial advisory committee. He also served as chairman of the parish buildings and grounds committee.
Even with all these other commitments, Jim was primarily devoted to his family. He was a loving and supportive husband, father, grandfather, son and brother. He is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Kathleen T. (Casey), daughter Bridget M. Haffey, and granddaughter Abby E. McGlinchey. Survivors also include two brothers Dr. Thomas A. Haffey (wife Marilyn Michelcavage) of Westminster, CO., and Charles J. Haffey (wife Marilyn Herr) of Albrightsville, and nieces and nephews. A skilled problem-solver, Jim enjoyed helping worthy causes. He also liked traveling, learning, attending plays, reading, hunting, and fishing.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Ambrose Church, Schuylkill Haven at 10:30 Thursday, May 4. Calling hours will be at Geschwindt-Stabingas-Ebling Funeral Home, 25 E. Main St., Schuylkill Haven, from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, and at St. Ambrose Church 9:15 to 10:15 on May 4. Interment will be in the parish cemetery. Those wishing to donate in his memory are asked to consider Helping Harvest or the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Commander James J. Haffey, Jr. USNR (Ret.), please visit our floral store.