NAUGATUCK — James T. Best, 84, husband of Arline (Hennessey) Best, died peacefully on Nov. 23, 2020, at Autumn Lake at Bucks Hill.
Jim was born May 22, 1936, in Waterbury, son of the late James and Catherine (Murtha) Best. Jim graduated from St. Francis Grammar School and Naugatuck High School, Class of 1954, and served honorably in the United States Army. Jim worked for over 60 years as both a truck driver and a foreman. He worked for Associated Transport, Murtha Trucking and John J. Brennan Construction, retiring in 2010.
Jim was the president of the Old Corner Café for years, where many of his former work crew from Murtha Trucking dropped by to reminisce about all they had learned from him. Jim was a longtime New York Jets fan who had season tickets for over 40 years and enjoyed many games with friends and family. He spent many years watching his sons play Little League baseball and then coached them in the Babe Ruth League. A favorite movie of his was Bad News Bears, and his family has fond memories of watching it with him at the Salem Theatre where he laughed so hard he couldn’t catch his breath.
In addition to Arline, his wife of 61 years, Jim is survived by his daughter, Jamie Damato (Tony); his sons, Michael Best, Kyle Best (Kim), Brian Best (Diana), Chas Best (Amy Cardona) and Thomas Best (Jennifer Anderson); his sister, Marilyn Korowotny; his sisters-in-law, Randi Dibble (Don) and Barbara Hennessey, all of Naugatuck; his 13 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and dozens of nieces and nephews and cousins. In addition to his parents, Jim was predeceased by his daughter, Joann Best; and brothers and sisters-in-law, Edward Korowotny, Louis and Barbara Hennessey, Gerald and Marion Hennessey, Neal Hennessey and Leo Hennessey.
Jim’s family would like to thank the staff at Autumn Lake at Bucks Hill for their excellent care of Jim for the past year.
All services will be private, and there are no calling hours. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Buckmiller Thurston Mengacci Funeral Home, 82 Fairview Ave., Naugatuck.
In lieu of flowers and to honor Jim’s memory, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
To leave an online condolence, visit www.buckmillerthurstonmengacci.com.