James Arthur Ubertalli peacefully departed this life Thursday, May 27, 2021 at his home with his family by his side.
Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, November 4, 1928, the son of James “Jack” and Christine (Demers) Ubertalli, he attended Holyoke Public Schools and Williston Academy, and earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. While working in Atlanta as a technical advisor for Orkin Exterminating, he met his wife, Barbara. The young couple lived in Texas for a few years where they developed a life-long passion for Mexican food, music and culture. Jim and his young family returned to New England where he continued his work in entomology as a manager for Terminix Industries. He also worked as a graduate entomologist serving the Baystate Medical System Environmental Services team as educator, technician and lecturer and retiring in 2003.
The call to serve led Jim to join the U.S. Army ROTC while a student at UMass. He was a tank commander headed to Korea when the Pentagon recruited him, because of his entomological expertise, to be a technical advisor for the Army Medical Services Corps. Jim served in the Army Reserves for 28 years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Among the many leadership positions he held, he was most proud of his role on the faculty of The United States Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the renowned graduate military college. In recent years, he found immense pride and camaraderie with a new band of brothers at the American Legion Post 351 and served as District Historian.
His quiet affability and keen sense of humor earned him many friends. Jim was proud of his hometown, Holyoke, and was called upon and gladly served in many volunteer capacities including Sunday School teacher and deacon of the Second Congregational Church, fire commissioner, youth hockey coach and scoutmaster of Troop 670 where he mentored many Eagle Scouts. He was also a lifelong sports fan and enjoyed some glory as starting center for Holyoke High football and Williston Academy where he was part of the school’s celebrated undefeated team, the first in fifty years.
In retirement, he spent time oil painting WWII aircraft and birds, reading voluminous historical accounts on the American Civil War and WWll and traveling with his family annually to Disneyworld and other far-flung destinations.
Jim will be remembered by the lives he touched for his warm kindness, gentle sense of humor and keen interest in learning and sharing what he had learned.
He leaves behind his beloved wife of 65 years, Barbara, his daughter Donna Lee and son Jimmy and daughter-in-law Harriet, his grandchildren Sophia and George, his brother Don, nieces Linda and JoAnne and nephew Jack.
Exceptional in his humility, passionately proud and loyal to his friends and family, he will be dearly missed.
A Funeral Home Service will be held for Jim on Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9:30am in the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home, 2049 Northampton Street, Holyoke followed by Committal with Military Honors at 11:00am in the Chapel of the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 1390 Main Street, Agawam. Calling hours will be held on Thursday, June 3, 2021 from 4:00 to 7:00pm.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of James A. Ubertalli to support cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via www.jimmyfund.org/gift.
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