MANHATTAN — James O. Harnett, 76, of 300 West 108th Street, New York City, died Sunday, July 1, due to complications from cancer. He was born Nov. 28, 1936, in Plattsburgh, the son of Owen F. Harnett and Katherine M. Harnett.
Jimmy attended St. John's Academy. He received a bachelor's degree from Plattsburgh State and a professional diploma from NYU. He moved to Long Island to teach in District #13, Valley Stream, and remained there until his retirement. He was an excellent compassionate teacher, famous in his district for putting on plays with each class. They were very elaborate productions. He spent one year abroad in an exchange program, teaching in Maidenhead, England, where he lived with the Ruglys family, with whom he became long-time friends, and enjoyed a one year sabbatical from his teaching career, traveling all over Europe and the Near East with Paul Stevens, a fellow teacher and friend from Plattsburgh; and Paul's wife, Irene.
Jimmy was a true supporter of liberal causes, but, above all, he had a great passion for the performing arts. He had season tickets to the Met and enjoyed everything that NYC had to offer. He remained close with childhood friends and had many devoted NYC friends, including a special friend, Rolando, to whom the family is extremely grateful.
Jimmy is survived by his sister, Dorothy Miller of Plattsburgh; brother William Harnett and wife Bebe of Cape Canaveral, Fla. He will be sorely missed by his nieces and nephews, Michael Harnett and wife Roz of Cape Cod, Lynn Kritikos and husband Anastasios of Long Island, Lorelei De Palo and husband Ricky of Long Island, Stewart and Kathleen Mitchell of Peru, Maureen Hall and husband Scott of Saranac Lake, Brian Harnett and wife Joan of Grahamsville, James Miller and wife Lana of Denver, Colo., and Rod Philbrick, husband of the late Lyn Harnett. Uncle Jimmy was also dearly loved by his great-nieces and nephews, Lauren Harnett, Kate and Moira Harnett, Evan and Greg Kritikos, Gina, Gary and Juliette De Palo, James and Jonathan Miller, Maxwell Hall and Joseph Mitchell. He was predeceased by his parents; brother, Robert Harnett; sister-in-law, Deborah; and a dear niece, Lynn Harnett Philbrick.