Remembering James V. DeBlase

This is a repost of a tribute I wrote for Jimmy DeBlase, who was killed eleven years ago today.

deblase.jamesHis 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 and pause to remember the innocent people, such as Jimmy D, who were taken from us eleven years ago today.

One thought on “Remembering James V. DeBlase

  1. Great Idea to have this page.
    I didn’t know James but through my son Christopher who knew his boys because of they went to the same school and we lived only a couple of blocks away. A couple of years later, I and my wife Diane attended a motorcycle event called the America’s 9/11 Memorial Ride. The Ride was to let everyone know we won’t forget people like James, as each rider rode in remembrance of a soul lost that day. I rode for James, and had his name, City (Manalapan) and his picture up on my windshield and thousands of people saw this placard as we rode from Shanksville, to the Pentagon then finally to NYC to the towers. The reason so many saw was we rode through the small towns and not major highways for almost the entire trip as people stood along the route waving flags and signs stating “We’ll never forget”
    So I sit here this Sunday morning, drinking my coffee, and looking at the placard remembering him again and thinking about his family and the many great things he must have done to be loved so much by his family.
    Phil & Diane Giunta

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