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James Vincent Botti, 78, of Long Valley, New Jersey, passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by his loving family on August 28, 2023. James left this world, the same way he came into it – a fighter. Born only 2 lbs. and seriously premature in 1945, the doctors did not expect little Jimmy to live; but he defied all expectations, survived, and thrived. In 2020, James was diagnosed with ALS and again defied expectations and outlived his prognosis by several years.
In his younger days James enjoyed working on sports cars, weightlifting, and playing hockey. At 17 he met his future wife, Annette, at a party and three years later they were married. They attended Bloomfield College together. Upon graduation, James took a job as a high-school English teacher in Orange. Thereafter, he went into his family’s jewelry business, Lisa Jewels, where he and Annette started a new line of jewelry under the name “Stylecraft”. They also started a family and had two beautiful children, Dawn and Carla. Eventually James joined United Parcel Service where is worked his way up from a driver to a center manager executive until he retired in 2001. After retirement, James and Annette enjoyed a second career in real estate investments.
In his spare time, James enjoyed attending car shows with his collector Corvettes, training his German Shepherd, Luke, and playing the slots at the casino. He was also one of the youngest presidents of the Livingston Rotary Club in the early 1970’s. But he was probably most passionate about his work in the martial arts. At age 70, James achieved one of his life-long dreams of receiving a black belt in Goshin Ryu Karate and was working toward an additional black belt in Uechi Ryu Karate under his Sensei Mike Torres prior to getting ill.
James is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Annette (Verdi) Botti. He was a devoted father to his children Dawn Marie Botti Szczecina, her husband Gary, Dr. Carla Grace Botti and her significant other Mike Torres; and was a dedicated grandfather to his grandchildren, Walker, Antonetta and Anthony. He is also survived by his three cherished brothers, Carl, Anthony and Michael. James was pre-deceased by his parents Elvidio and Marion Botti of West Orange.
James (known as “Jimmy” to many of those closest to him) was a man of generous character who was always willing to lend a hand to anyone who asked- whether it be with his handy-man skills, his business acumen or just general life advice. He loved telling jokes and stories and loved his family fiercely. He will be greatly missed by many.
Visitation will be at the Leonardis Memorial Home, Inc., 210 Ridgedale Avenue, Florham Park on Friday, Sept 1st from 4-7pm. The Funeral Service will begin on Saturday, Sept 2nd, assembling at the funeral home at 8:45am, followed by the funeral mass at St. Joseph’s Church, 767 Prospect St, Maplewood at 10am. Entombment will be at Gate of Heaven Cemetery and Mausoleum in East Hanover.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly asks for donations to be made in James’ name to The ALS Association https://donate.als.org
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