James Joseph Wrynn
James Joseph Wrynn, 80, of Madison, died June 8 at Yale New Haven Hospital. Jim was born in New Haven on Oct. 15, 1942, the son of James Joseph Wrynn and Sarah Boyle Wrynn. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joan (Krasnovsky) Wrynn; his two brothers, John Wrynn (Laurel) and Harvey Wrynn (Mary); and his four children, Michelle Patrick (Chris), Chris Wrynn (Ann), Liz Wrynn (John Anderson), and Andrew Wrynn (Alexandra Davis). He is also survived by his three grandchildren, James Wrynn, Kaitlyn Patrick, and Matthew Wrynn, as well as numerous nephews and nieces on both the Wrynn and Krasnovsky sides of the family.
Jim was proud to grow up in New Haven, on Woodland Street, where his Irish parents instilled in him a commitment to family, friends, and community. Throughout his life, he frequently spoke of his childhood antics in Newhallville. He attended St. Mary’s School and then Hillhouse High School, and Wilbur Cross High School, where he graduated in 1960. He then graduated from Quinnipiac College with a degree in history in 1968. As a true New Havener, he worked short stints at Winchester Repeating Arms Company, Brock Hall Dairy, and Hull’s Brewery. In 1970, while painting a barn at Goddard’s Barberry Farm in Madison, he found his true calling, and his painting business was born: Jim Wrynn Painting and Restoration. Over the next 50 years, Jim went on to train and mentor numerous tradesmen, many going on to start their own companies.
For more than 30 years, Jim was a member of the Irish History Round Table of New Haven, serving in various roles, including Advisory Board Member, Vice Chairman, and President. His trip to Ireland, where he visited his parents’ hometown of Mohill in County Leitrim with his daughter Liz and son-in-law John, was a highlight of his later years.
Jim was also a longtime member of the Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society (SUUS) and was involved in the Madison Chapter of Business Network International (BNI) for many years. Additionally, Jim was dedicated to maintaining his 45 years of sobriety; during that time, he also mentored and sponsored numerous peers in recovery programs and helped them to lead productive lives.
Jim was an avid reader, a lifelong learner, and a walking library on Irish history. He was also a world-class schmoozer and could strike up a conversation with just about anyone (animals included). He was known especially for his keen sense of humor and quick wit: whether it was the “sword wound he received in the Japanese Navy” or an off-the-cuff one-liner, he always had a joke lined up and ready to go. At dinnertime, Jim had an uncanny ability to consume several servings in one sitting (a testament to his wife Joan’s cooking). He always made room for dessert, though, often enjoying ice cream or fruitcake, homemade by his daughter Michelle each Christmas.
But of all Jim’s endeavors through life, his greatest achievement was his commitment to being present in the lives of his family. From his family trips to Cape Cod to watching his children’s and grandchildren’s lacrosse games, he was always there to enjoy the activities; his grandkids, who referred to him as “Pop Pop,” will miss him very much.
A celebration of his life will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday, June 29, at the Westbrook Elks Lodge, 142 Seaside Avenue, Westbrook. Receiving hour will be from noon to 1 p.m., the memorial will be from 1 to 2 p.m., and refreshments will be served at 2 p.m. We know that everyone has good Jim Wrynn stories, and we look forward to hearing them all. In lieu of flowers, to commemorate Jim’s memory, Jim would want us to laugh with our loved ones and enjoy a piece of fruitcake this holiday season.