James P. Moran BSBA 62, MBA 68 -- Four years after his death, friends, family, and dignitaries gathered to officially recognize James P. Moran's dedication to Canton during the 40 years he lived in the community. Moran was honored in a ceremony Sunday afternoon that named the new water treatment facility on Pecunit Street in his honor.
Moran, who passed away in 2006 at age 70, is remembered not only in Canton but also in Milton, where he grew up and later returned to live for the final four years of his life. Moran worked hard and gave back to the towns that he loved.
“Extraordinary results often come from so-called ordinary people exercising persistence, imagination, and hard work. Jim Moran, with his winning personality, was a perfect example of all those and more,” said Selectman Chairman Victor Del Vecchio.
Listening to the accolades for her late husband was “bittersweet,” said Mary Moran, who called the day a “wonderful tribute to Jim.” Maureen Moran said her father “would have been pleased, overwhelmed and humbled.”
Capital Planning Committee member Joe Croce was behind the plan to name the Water treatment plant after his long-time friend.
“Jim and I are two Milton kids,” he said. “We grew up together. We started kindergarten in 1940 and graduated from Milton High in 1953.”
Croce and Moran both coincidentally moved to Canton in 1965, and worked as Little League coaches.
“Jimmy was involved from day one with committees,” said Croce. “He was very civic-minded.”
Croce said Moran was involved in the Water and Sewer Rate Commission, and provided data to the town that allowed Canton move forward with plans to build the treatment plant.
“Town Meeting agreed to fund it, and what better guy to name this facility after than my buddy Jim,” said Croce.
Moran received both his undergraduate degree and an MBA from Suffolk University, and spent time in the Navy. When he and Mary married, they moved to Canton where they lived on Jeffries Road for 40 years. Moran started working at Ocean Spray Cranberry in 1963 and remained there for 34 years, retiring as assistant treasurer in 1997.
In addition to his career at Ocean Spray, Moran was active in Canton and served on several town boards and committees including the Canton Housing Authority, Capital Planning Committee, School Committee, Finance Committee and the Water and Sewer Rate Policy Committee.
“When Jim was 66, we felt the house was too much,” Mary said. They sold their Jeffries Street home to their daughter and son-in-law, and moved to Fuller Village in Milton, situated at the other end of Brush Hill Road from where Moran grew up. “It was like he came full circle,” Mary said.
In the four years he lived in Milton before his death, Moran was an elected Town Meeting Member, and continued to be active in his new neighborhood by creating the Fuller Village Men's Club.
“He contributed to two communities and Fuller Village,” said Senator Brian Joyce who presented the family with a citation from the Senate. “His loss is felt not just in Canton, but in Milton and in Fuller Village,” Joyce called Moran “one of the nicest people I ever had the pleasure of meeting.”
State Rep. William Galvin, D-Canton, for whom Moran served as campaign treasurer also had high praise for Moran.
“Jim always had great advice. He had a great mind.”
Galvin said having Moran as his campaign treasure was the best thing he ever did. “With Jim, you got Mary, and I was fortunate that I got Mary, too.”
“We were a partnership. I was his back-up,” said Mary. “I did the errands, picked up the mail. I knew he wouldn't be happy doing nothing and I supported him.”
“They were a team,” said Bill Mulford a friend, Jeffries Street neighbor, and golfing buddy. “Everybody loved Jim. He was a decent, honest guy.”
“Jim would be comforted in the knowledge that the facility bearing his name, for which he was instrumental in planning, will provide generations of Canton citizens and families with clean, affordable water….” Del Vecchio said.
The new James P. Moran Water Treatment Facility will pump “just under a million gallons of water a day, representing an amazing 38 percent of the average daily water supply to the town,” Del Vecchio said. And now a simple act like turning on a faucet will, for many, bring a flood of memories of the man who worked alongside his friends to make the James P Moran Treatment Facility a reality.
Moran's measure--what he did and what he gave to the communities in which he lived--is large. He is remembered for his smile, his infectious laughter, his attention to detail, his scrupulous spreadsheets, his fairness, his willingness to listen to all sides of an issue, and having no agenda but the betterment of the town.
Among the attendees were Moran's wife Mary, daughter Maureen Moran, son-in law Kevin Cloherty, and granddaughter Megan Cloherty, who at two-and-a half knows her “Grandpa Jim” only from photos around the house. Also present were his brothers Peter and Jack Moran; his sisters, Kathleen Lynch, Rita Theriault, and Rose Cavanaugh; and Mary K. Moran, his sister-in-law.
My dad was a superb human being who cared deeply about the town of Canton,” said Maureen. “Four years after his death, his loss is still deeply felt, not only by his family, but also by those with whom he worked in town. We’re so grateful that the town has honored him in this way.”
Canton Citizen, May 27, 2010