Obituary: James ‘Big Jim’ McCauley

James ‘Big Jim’ McCauley
James ‘Big Jim’ McCauley

BEACON FALLS — James “Big Jim” McCauley, 82, of Beacon Falls, the beloved husband of Carol Pratt McCauley for 56 years, entered into rest peacefully, surrounded by his loving family on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 at St. Joseph Manor, Trumbull.

Jim was born in Bridgeport on April 25, 1931, son of the late Milton and Margaret Collie McCauley. Jim graduated from Stratford High School in 1949 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He moved to Milford in 1959, where he was a police officer for 10 years, before moving to Beacon Falls. Jim was a lifelong Harley Davidson enthusiast. He worked as a Harley Davidson machinist and engine builder at dealerships throughout Connecticut. Jim later opened his own machine shop where he did custom engine work on Harley Davidsons. He was a legend throughout the Harley Davidson community and was affectionately known as “Big Jim.” He contributed to many motorcycle magazine articles and had many written about his expertise in antique restoration of early Harley Davidson engines. Jim frequently “held court” at many antique motorcycle events, answering questions and giving Harley Davidson history lessons. He was a lifetime member of the American Motorcyclist Association and a member of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America.

Jim was also a Mason of the Ansantawae Lodge Number 89 of Milford, a member of St. Peter’s Church of Oxford, a member of the Schaeffer-Fischer Post 25 American Legion of Beacon Falls and an avid UConn women’s basketball fan. He will be sadly missed by his friends and family.

Jim’s loving family includes wife Carol; his daughter Suzanne Weed and her husband Jim; his sons, Robert McCauley and his wife Sharon, Timothy McCauley and his wife Jessica; his brothers, David McCauley and his wife Ingrid, Milton McCauley and his wife Audrey; his sister, Martha Anderson; his grandchildren, Ted, Megan, Jack, Sarah, Kelly, Sean and Nate and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his beloved daughter Margaret McCauley and his sisters, Susan Unwin and Betsy Ross.

A funeral service in celebration of Jim’s life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 at 3 p.m. at St. Peter’s Church, 421 Oxford Road, Oxford. Following the service at 4 p.m., the family has invited all of Jim’s family and friends to gather at St. Peter’s Church Hall for a celebration of Big Jim’s Life. Interment will be private and at the convenience of the family. There will be no calling hours. The Miller-Ward Funeral Home of Seymour is caring for the family.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory may be made to St. Peter’s Church, 421 Oxford Road, Oxford, CT 06478 or to a charity of your choice.

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