JAMES JOHN MALATRAS

COLCHESTER - On April 24, 2013, James John Malatras passed on to reunite with family and friends and hopefully to hear some great jazz music. He was born July 26, 1926, in Manchester, N.H., the proud son of Greek immigrants, John James Malatras and Athena (Tasis). He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944, serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Following his Honorable Discharge in 1946 he attended the University of New Hampshire, from where he graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management. Following graduation he was appointed a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and was based at several locations around the world, including Fort Ethan Allen, where he served as a proud member of the Green Mountain Boys. In 1952 he married his lovely wife, Phyllis Reardon, and together they traveled the world, eventually settling in Nashua, N.H., where he started both his family and a career in manufacturing as an executive at Raytheon. He then became President of Berwick Forge & Fabricating in Pennsylvania, and relocated his family to New Jersey. He was a very successful business man, and those who worked for him admired and respected him. He did well for all of them. He often commented upon his accomplishment of negotiating a $70 million contract with the Mexican government for rails cars while leading Berwick Forge in the 1970s. He held executive positions with many other companies before his retirement in 1987. Jim enjoyed telling his stories, not only of his childhood growing up in Manchester during the Great Depression, but of his experiences in the Navy on a mine sweeper during World War II. He had somehow enlisted underage and when his mother found out she accepted it, but told him to come right home if he didn't like it. His shipmates nicknamed him "Gunner". These stories were the material of a great book and when we told him he should write that book he deferred, saying that everyone has a great book in them. He loved big band Jazz. Seeing his favorite musicians and listening to their music gave him great joy. He was a great pianist and could play his favorite songs all by ear. He once hired an instructor to teach him how to read music and after a few lessons he was asked, "why bother?" A voracious reader (but never fiction), he could lecture on nearly any subject matter. Reading and music were his lifelong passions. He was a talented woodworker, and he has left behind many pieces of work for all to admire. He enjoyed a strong martini (although we never could figure out how to make a weak one), debating the latest in the news and telling jokes. Jim is survived by his son, John James Malatras and his wife, Sally (Terhune), of West Milford, N.J.; and his daughter, Marsha Ann Ellis and her husband, Bill Ellis, of Essex. "Papou" is also survived by his four grandchildren, James Malatras and his wife, Jennifer Wiel, of New York, Amanda Jacoby and her husband, Joseph, of New York, and Jessica Lynn Ellis and Christopher Francis Ellis of Essex. He also leaves behind two great-grandchildren, Joseph Jacoby, Jr., and Max Ellington Malatras. He was predeceased by his beautiful wife of 59 years in 2011. Jim's family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff at Green Mountain Nursing Center for the wonderful care they gave him. There will be no visiting hours and a private service will be held at a later date at the family's convenience. Online condolences may be made at gregorycremation.com