James (Jim) Macareo, who recently celebrated his 77th birthday, died at home on Tuesday morning, surrounded by his loving family. His story began on August 16, 1941 in Pittston, Pennsylvania.
Jim, the youngest of nine, was the son of Joseph and Angelina (Sanzalone) Macareo. He grew up in the Oregon section of Pittston, raised by his brothers and sisters, who always kept an eye on their baby brother. Jim attended Pittston High School and joined the Army in 1961, serving as a mess cook proudly providing food for the masses. His love for food would follow Jim throughout his life.
Jim met the love of his life, Lena (Svendsen), while stationed in Connecticut and the two soon married in 1970. Jim and Lena ventured to the Wild West, moving to Colorado in 1974 where they established their restaurant, The Big Train, in Colorado Springs. They later moved to Greeley, Colorado and opened The Pickle Barrel Sandwich Shop, a staple in the small college town. Though he loved the West, Jim desired to return to Northeastern Pennsylvania to be closer to his family, thus prompting the family move to Exeter, Pennsylvania in 1981. After closing his sandwich shop in Pittston, Jim began to work for Owens-Illinois (Techneglas) where he would remain until his retirement in 1999. In his retirement, Jim treated his wife and family to numerous homemade Italian meals, always buying the finest of ingredients from all his special spots in NEPA. As you could expect, Jim’s favorite channel was The Food Network, testing out countless Lydia Bastianich’s Italian recipes on his wife. He enjoyed going to various grocery stores with his brother Louie, his partner in crime, and often times the two would make a meal out of tasting samples while browsing Sam’s Club.
Jim loved to drive, once driving to Canada just for a cup of coffee and a piece of pie. In his later years, Jim was employed as a limousine driver for AAAA Limousine, Forty-Fort, Pennsylvania. Jim also adored his standard poodles, Kasper and Cooper, and looked forward to seeing his good buddy, Cooper, again.
In addition to his parents, Jim is preceded in death by his two sisters, Josephine Terrana, Lena Gaydos, and five brothers, Frank Macareo, Angelo Macario, Joseph Macareo, Dominick Macario, and Louis Macareo. Jim is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 47 years, Lena, who was his sole caretaker the last several months, sons James Macareo, Texas; Paul Macareo, Florida; and William Start and wife, Denise, West Wyoming; daughters Laura Palmer, Syracuse; and Michele and husband, Gerard Wrazien, Hummelstown; Grandchildren Andrew, Anthony, Alex, Austin, Gabriel, Noah, Michael, Alana, Stephen, and Benjamin; sister Rose Turoni, Wyoming; sisters-in-law, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at Christian Apostolic Church, 757 North Main St., Hilldale, with a Christian Burial. Those attending are asked to go directly to the church on Saturday morning. Interment with military honors will follow the service at the Wyoming Cemetery, Wyoming. Family and friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday at Adonizio Funeral Home, LLC 251 William St., Pittston.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Christian Apostolic Church of Syracuse.