James F. Dwyer,92, a 60-year resident of Framingham, now of Marlborough, died of stage 4 cancer on October 11, 2020, at home with his wife by his side. Jim was born on June 5, 1928, in Chevy Chase, MD, to William Dwyer of Dayton, Ohio and Mary Alice Gould Dwyer of Washington D. C. and was primarily raised in D.C. and nearby Bethesda, MD.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Constance “Connie” Reddy Dwyer of Marlborough, two sisters, Patty & Sue; two daughters, Martha & Susan; two step-sons, Paul & Liam & his fiancée Diana, & two granddaughters, Aimee & Shannon. He was predeceased by 2 brothers, Tommy& Bill.
In their recent move to Marlborough on September 26, Jim and Connie joined the Immaculate Conception Church.
Jim graduated in 1946 from Gonzaga Catholic High School, Washington, D.C. and said his Jesuit training was his father’s greatest gift, “the cornerstone of my adult life.”
During High School at age l6 he worked as a clerk for the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a Federal agency, and during college, as a clerk, at the F.B.I. and subsequently as a cartographic aide at the Interior Department.
He studied philosophy, physics and engineering, part-time, at Catholic University (1946-1951) until he enlisted in the Air Force in 1951 during the Korean War. He was an instructor at Sampson AFB, NY, before being assigned to Patrick AFB, FL, where he wrote On-the-Job Training guides until his transfer in 1953 to The Air Force Cambridge Research Center in Boston. As a Staff Sergeant he worked on the Moby Dick Balloon project and conceived a subsequently patented deployment system for sensors to measure blast effects of high-altitude explosions.
Upon his discharge from the Air Force in 1955, he enrolled in Boston University’s College of Liberal Arts and graduated in 1958.with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics (1958). From 1956 until his retirement in 1985, Jim worked as an Aerospace Engineer for 37 years in the research, design and development of high-altitude plastic balloons at the Air Force Geophysics Laboratories, Hanscom AFB. During his research career, he designed balloons for many Air Force and NASA projects, including testing of the NASA Voyager & Viking soft landing systems. Jim credited his engineering background to both his Father, Bill Dwyer, and his Uncle, Frank Dwyer, who worked on the Manhattan project in Washington, D.C.
In 1968, Jim was elected to Framingham Town Meeting and later appointed to the Town Finance Committee on which he served for15 years before being elected for seven consecutive terms as Town Moderator (1993-2000). He then dedicated his spare time to volunteer on many committees: Community Development Block Grant Committee, Town Manager’s Committee on Government Reorganization. During these years he tutored, free of charge, College, High School and Elementary School students. His other contributions to the Town of Framingham are extensive, some of which include being a member of the Personnel Board, Capital Budget Committee, Framingham Financial Task Force, Review & Drafting of Bylaws, School Long Range Capital Planning Committee, Cushing Task Force,
In 1995 Jim married Constance (Afthim) Reddy at St. Bridget Church, Framingham. They happily observed their 25th wedding anniversary together on June 24. Jim said his marriage to Connie was the greatest blessing he ever had and their faith sharing & close, daily communication truly made them “one” in their thoughts and hearts.
In 2001 Jim and Connie moved to Uxbridge, MA where Jim was elected to the Board of Selectmen and he also was Chair of the trustees Olde Canal Village. During their 7 years then in Uxbridge, Jim and his wife started a support group for families with loved ones who had mental illness, as they did, and were trained by NAMI (National Alliance of the Mentally Ill) as facilitators and helped many families during their service of 5 years.
Later, they moved to Sutton where he served as a Sewer Enterprise Commissioner, attempting to resolve the two-sewer systems budget issue. After 8 years he and Connie decided to move back to Uxbridge and were glad to return to see their friends and again attend St. Mary’s Church where they taught CCD and were Eucharistic Ministers. Then they had to make the difficult decision of leaving Uxbridge to downsize and moved to Oxford in 2017 where they found another supportive parish at St. Roch’s. They lived in Oxford for almost 3 years and then decided to move two weeks ago (September 26) to Marlborough to be closer to Jim’s Framingham doctors and their family and they joined the Immaculate Conception Church.
Jim was very grateful for the compassionate care he received 24/7 from the MetroWest Homecare & Hospice, Marlborough, who provided care 24/7 and the around-the-clock support to his wife Connie. They also appreciated the daily visits by Connie’s son Paul of Marlborough.
A self-made poet, Jim started writing poetry since Grade School and some of his poetry has been published internationally, and he won an award from the National Library of Poetry. Additionally, as a researcher and mathematician, he was passionate about finding a solution to Fermat’s Last Theorem and in early 2020 wrote a paper on a unique solution to Fermat’s Last Theorem, using only mathematics from the 1700s. He had hoped to publish his paper before he died but his wife will try to find a math or scientific magazine that will publish his paper since he tirelessly worked on it for over a year and believed he found the right answer. He was an emeritus member for 61 years of the Sigma Xi research society.
Jim as Moderator in Framingham was a selfless public servant who was apolitical and often put people of opposite views on his committees to retain objectivity. He gave over 50 years of community service, mainly in Framingham, without ever receiving one penny and was committed to do what was right for Framingham and in any other community where he lived. He was known as one who did not “go along to get along.” His mantra was “Justice for All”. For example, as a member of the Finance Committee, he questioned why Framingham was being charged an exorbitant bill. The Selectmen and Finance Committee disagreed with him and he decided to call the auditor in Boston with a Selectman & Finance Committee member present and they were told “Mr. Dwyer is right.” He ended up saving Framingham $800,000 for three consecutive years.
Another example concerns Uxbridge when despite the Selectmen opposing Jim when he said it was an injustice for the Town to bill homeowners who lived on Douglas St. for sewer connection fees due to a new condo development even though homeowners were already connected to a sewer. It took a year and a half of debates with the Board but he succeeded, saving homeowners $3,000 per home.
Jim was proud to be a 4th degree member for over 50 years with the Knights of Columbus, Coeur de Leon, Council #87, Framingham. He also was an honorary 60-year member of Sigma Xi Society.
There are no calling hours per Jim’s request. A private graveside service will take place with military honors, representation with members from the Knights of Columbus and prayers from Fr. Michael Roy, Pastor, St. Roch’s, Oxford, Jim & Connie’s Spiritual Director.
In Jim’s memory, a donation may be made by writing a check payable to “Help A Student,” St. Bridget’s School, 15 Wheeler Ave., Framingham, MA, 01702 or to the MSCPA.org.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James F. Dwyer, please visit our floral store.
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St. Bridget's School - Help a student
15 Wheeler Ave., Framingham MA 01702