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Obituary for James Andrew McNamara

Charlotte native James Andrew McNamara, who had a life full of amazing experiences, incredible family, and life-long friends, passed away Sunday in Charlotte. He was 90.

Jim was born in Washington, D.C. on Dec 18, 1926. During the Great Depression, he lived with his grandparents on Pennsylvania Ave., where his grandmother Walsh instilled many of his values of hard work and honesty. He attended and played football at St. John's High School. On Dec 7, 1941, at 15 he was selling popcorn at Griffith Stadium during the Redskins/Eagles game when it was announced that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. In Dec 1944, at 18, he enlisted, and was deployed to Manilla, in the military police corp. At the end of the war, he was assigned to the war crimes trial and was responsible for prisoner transport to and from the trial. He was a proud veteran of WWII and was recently the subject of a Charlotte Observer article that profiled his experiences in Manilla.

When Jim came home, he attended and played football at the University of Maryland, go Terrapins! After graduation, Jim was hired by Lederle Laboratories selling pharmaceuticals. His first assignment was in Burlington, Iowa, then Norfolk, VA and finally back to Washington, D.C. Jim met the love of his life, Billie Figl, while boating on the Potomac and got married in 1956. They then had 5 wonderful children. Jim was offered a promotion and moved the family to Charlotte, NC in 1963. Over the next 25 years, Jim managed a sales team and won many awards, including being the first Pharmaceutical Company to administer the Polio vaccine. Jim called on doctors throughout the southeast and counted many of them as his best friends.

In the late 1960’s, Jim enjoyed coaching his son’s in Pop Warner football at St. Ann’s. In the early 1970’s, Jim and Billie joined Raintree Country Club and enjoyed golf and the lifelong friends they made there. He and Billie continued playing golf into their 70’s.

After 37 years at Lederle, Jim retired and built an in-ground pool which quickly became his primary hobby. You could find he and Billie out by the pool most afternoons and evenings listening to Glen Miller and having a dance. Jim was known as the life of the party, always at the center of every group, laughing the loudest. He always had great stories and could keep you entertained for hours with amazing detail. He was a great cook, his spaghetti recipe will go with him, as he never told anybody all of the ingredients! Jim loved watching sports, including his Maryland Terrapins, the Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers and PGA Golf. Jim was a very proud Catholic and sent all 5 of his children to St. Gabriel and Charlotte Catholic High School.

His survivors include his wife of 61 years, Billie Figl McNamara; his daughter Mary Bidelman (Wayne); his son Tim McNamara (Jenny); his son John McNamara (Nancy); his daughter Suzanne Mosso (Thomas); his son Michael McNamara (Ambreen); his 12 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren and his sister Eileen Sowa (Frank).
Visitation will be 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 with a Rosary at 6:00 p.m. at St. Gabriel Catholic Church. Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 31, 2017 at St. Gabriel Catholic Church.
In lieu of flowers, Memorial contributions may be made to St. Gabriel Athletic Association.

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Previous Events





4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
St. Gabriel Catholic Church

3016 Providence Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28211





6:00 PM
St. Gabriel Catholic Church

3016 Providence Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28211

Funeral Mass




11:00 AM
St. Gabriel Catholic Church

3016 Providence Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28211

Cemetery Details


Sharon Memorial Park

5716 Monroe Rd
Charlotte, NC 28212

Memorial Contribution

St. Gabriel Athletic Association


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