“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
James Timothy Philopena (Jim), 59, died Thursday, April 4, while attempting to rescue his true companion, Murphy, from Meetinghouse Pond in Marlborough, NH. He will be endlessly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Jim was born to Lois and Frank Philopena in Manchester, CT in 1959 and graduated from East Catholic High School before matriculating into the Air Force. He retired from service in 1998 as Master Sergeant. He worked for C&S in Keene, NH, UMass Amherst, and most recently, Landmark College in Putney, VT, where he served as Senior Network Analyst.
Along with walks and play time with Murphy, Jim thoroughly enjoyed volunteering and communicating with others worldwide as a ham radio operator, listening to music through a world-class sound system he designed himself, exploring new landscapes with his camera, skiing, and most often, being of service in any way he could. He was gifted with his hands, whether in the workshop where he expertly made gifts for both human and canine friends, in the kitchen where he took the greatest of care with the smallest of ingredients, and while giving his rescue dog Murphy the affection and care he needed to learn to how to love life. Of all his talents and traits, it was Jim’s rare and abiding loyalty to those he loved, his slyly silly humor, his perennial good nature, and his thoughtful, incisive comments on life, love, and society for which he will be most often remembered.
Jim was predeceased by his brother, Frank III, his mother, and his father. He leaves behind his sisters, Beth Urbanetti and Catherine Limansky, his brothers, Paul, John, & Ed Philopena, their spouses, and the nieces & nephews of whom he was so proud. He also leaves behind his beloved Kathy, his tight-knit community at the College, and dear friends from NH to Germany.
Special thanks to Chief Lyons of the Marlborough Police Dept., Lieutenant Boudreau of NH Fish & Game, and all the first responders who helped in the search.
All are invited to a memorial service on Saturday, April 13 at 11:00 a.m. at the Cournoyer Funeral Home, 33 River Street, Jaffrey, NH.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Pets4Luv, 1504 Old Country Rd, Westbury, NY 11590, where Murphy was adopted by his hero in April, 2018.