His friends called him Jimmy D, and he was probably the only Dallas Cowboy football fan in all of New Jersey; he was certainly their most fervent!
Jimmy was born in lower Manhattan, and grew up playing football in the streets of Little Italy. He grew up with two brothers, Anthony and Ritchie. His wife, Marion, remembers meeting Jimmy in 1978, when his team, “Carmine’s Animals” had just won a neighborhood championship. Jimmy’s (perplexing to local New Yorkers) love of the Dallas Cowboys is something he passed onto his three sons, Nicholas, Joseph and James, even going to far as taking them to Dallas to see the team play. The neighborhood kids called him Coach Jimmy- he was very involved in his sons lives, coaching them not only in football, but baseball and basketball as well.
In Lower Manhattan, Jimmy attended St. Joseph’s Elementary School, and went on to Bishop DuBois high school, where he excelled at athletics. After high school, Jimmy decided football would not be his career path, and enrolled in Baruch College, known for it’s business courses as opposed to athletics.
After college, Jimmy and Marion made their home in Manalapan, New Jersey, and Jimmy worked on Wall Street for 14 years as a dealer at Oppenheimer. He joined Cantor Fitzgerald in October 1999 as a USA Bond-broker.
Jimmy was at work in the North Tower on the 106th floor on the morning of September 11, 2001. His brother Anthony was in Tower 2, and was fortunate enough to make it out. Anthony spent days after the attack looking for his brother. Jimmy’s body has never been recovered.
His godson, Robet Netzel, has this to say about his godfather:
Uncle Jim, you are a hero to Aunt Marion and the boys. We miss you so much. We are all in this together to help your family from here on in. I will take your boys under my wing as best as possible. You have been a great inspiration for your boys to be the best that they can be in life and as their coach, you helped make them some of the best players out there. Keep a safe watch over all of your family and shine down on them. Jimmy D, your are the best.
Please take a moment today, or in the next few days, and pause to remember the fine people, such as Jimmy D, who innocently lost their lives five years ago.
This tribute has been written about James V DeBlase as part of the 2,996 Project, a grassroots movement among bloggers to commemorate all of the lives lost in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. For more information on the project, or to take part and be assigned a person to commemorate, please visit The 2,996 Project.
8 thoughts on “2,996 Project: Remembering James V. DeBlase”
It’s amazing how… well, how inspiring it is to learn about Jimmy D and the rest of the 2996 as individuals instead of a vast number under a veil of tears.
You’ve done a lovely tribute.
My memorial to Joseph Lostrangio is up on my blog if you wish to drop by.
I just wasn’t strong enough to do this. I admire that you were, thank you all for doing such a hard and beautiful thing…
Beautiful. Thank you for remembering.
I first heard about the 2996 project from your blog, and I decided to particpate because of you. So thanks for posting the information to your blog so I could get involved.
Wow, thanks Paul P. I first heard of it on Faith’s site… (www.http://faithinflorida.blogspot.com)
This is so great. I remember during the week after 9/11, I would stare at the wall of “missing person” signs just down the street from my office and study each and every person’s face. I would read each name carefully and soak in the snapshot the family decided to use. I did this because I wanted to know every person that needlessly died that day. I couldn’t really think of any other way to help them–but to care about each individual instead of the vast number as Eric pointed out.
Thanks for doing the same here by honoring this person. I don’t think I can read any more today.
Thank you for doing this post Tracy! This was a very beautiful and thoughtful tribute! We will always remember!
Marion, I was thinking about you the other day and went on line to see if you still lived on Staten Island. I had no idea that you lost Jimmy on 9/11. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that you and your family are doing well now. Please e-mail me if you can. I would really love to talk to you. Love, Nadine – Mudge Rose.
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