Obituary: James Corless, 72


James Corless, 72, loving husband, devoted father, proud papa, brother, uncle, and friend, died peacefully in his home on Monday, November 19, 2018.

Jim was born on August 27, 1946, and grew up in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. He was the son of Vincent Corless and Loretta Loonie Corless, and the younger brother of Patricia (Corless) Roan. Having grown up in Brooklyn, he held onto his New York pride his entire life. A true student of the world, Jim was always eager to learn. His passion for education led to a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from Manhattan College. Later, he graduated from the Physician Associate Program at Yale University. Jim also earned a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut.

Jim met the love of his life and best friend, Patti McDonald, in February of 1976. Shortly after meeting, they married and moved to Chicago. They traveled back east to permanently settle in Connecticut, where they raised three girls, Emily, Annie, and Caitlin. Years later, he welcomed three sons-in-law, Kevin Byam, Ryan Lane, and Tim Burgher, into his family. Jim’s life was further enriched by the births of his five amazing grandchildren, Nolan, Charlotte, Cora, Violet, and Hannah.

Jim dearly missed his sister, Patricia Corless Roan, and his great friend and brother-in-law, Jimmy Roan. Jim loved Patti’s sister, Phyllis Finnerty, and her husband, Richard; and Patti’s late brother, George McDonald, and his wife, Francine. Jim was also blessed with many nephews, nieces, grandnephews, and grandnieces. He had exceptional friends with whom he shared good times and lots of laughs.

A physician assistant for thirty-six years, caring for children was Jim’s passion. At work, he was known for his patience, his calm demeanor, his skill, and his kindness. Over the course of his career, he cared for countless newborn babies and children. Jim worked at New Britain General Hospital, Newington Children’s Hospital, and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center at Waterbury Hospital.

Jim’s interests were as wide as his love was deep. He filled his home with music and song. He enjoyed watching his daughters play soccer and run track, and he was a fan of the New York Yankees. Jim’s curious mind made him eager to learn how everything worked. He took on new challenges. He juggled, he cooked, he researched his family’s genealogy, and he even attempted to learn to ride a unicycle. He liked eating at diners and food trucks, and he enjoyed sampling the foods of other countries. He was a man of many hobbies and passions, but above all things, Jim loved spending time with his family and friends.

Jim’s family wishes to thank the staff and volunteers of the Hartford Healthcare Cancer Institute in New Britain and the Hartford HealthCare at Home Hospice Care for the support and care he received.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Jim can be made to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Foundation, 282 Washington St., Hartford, CT 06106 or

A Mass of Christian Burial in celebration of Jim’s life will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 28, 2018, meeting directly at Saint Patrick-Saint Anthony Church, 285 Church St., Hartford.  Family and friends may gather on Tuesday evening from 5-8 p.m. at Plainville Funeral Home, 81 Broad St, Plainville.  For online expressions of sympathy, please visit