By Frank L. Cahill, publisher
Confirmed reports that U.S. Air Force Reserves Master Sgt. James Vigilante, 49, has passed away from a sudden heart attack, Sunday morning at approximately 6:00 a.m. at the Hackensack Medical Center.
Jimmy was a councilman in Parsippany-Troy Hills from January 1996 through December 2008, serving as council president from January 1999 to December 2001, and vice president from January 1998 to December 1998 and again from January 2002 to December 2002.
Jimmy was a lifelong resident of Parsippany.
He was pre-deceased by his father, Walter John Writt and his aunt, Margaret Hill.
Survivors include his daughter, Ashlee Nieves of Clifton; his mother, Jayne F. Writt of Parsippany; his brother, Kevin Capozzi and his wife, Marta of Hazlet; his uncles, James and Edward Hill; his aunt, Katherine Lindseth; Jimmy is also survived by his many cousins and countless friends.
He was a 1982 graduate of Parsippany High School and had an associate applied science degree from Butler County Community College, Eldorado, Kansas.
Mayor Mimi Letts said “I have always felt fortunate that Jimmy Vigilante was a councilman in Parsippany when I was the Mayor. Jimmy really cared about the town and the folks that live here. He was a terrific partner in doing things that improved the quality of life in town.”
“We were of different political parties, but it made no difference. We never discussed it. We just worked together, acquiring open space, building parks, upgrading streetscapes and making sure our residents got the best services possible,” stated Letts.
She continued “Jimmy rarely, if ever, missed a council meeting. If he had to be away with his military duties, he would attend the meeting via conference call. He did his homework, understood the issues and brought good ideas to the table. And he was fun to work with, always with a smile, except during budget hearings! ”
“Even though we have both been out of office for a while, I still consider Jimmy a good friend. Last year around this time he laid a wreath on my brother’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery. I will miss him on Thursday mornings at Kiwanis meetings. But the people of Parsippany will miss a dedicated and sincere public servant for years to come,” said Mimi.
“Thanks Jimmy for all you did, for your kindness, your goodwill and being an excellent Councilman,” stated Mimi Letts.
Vigilante served in The United States Air Force (1982-1986) and served in The New Jersey Air National Guard (1986-1988). He was currently serving in the Air Force Reserves since 2002.
He was the former Owner/Operator of a Pest Control Business and was currently owner of a Construction Company and a Construction Management Company. He was also a Licensed Real Estate Agent.
He also belonged to D.A.R.E., Disabled American Veterans, Morris County Foster Care, Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany, American Legion Post 249, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Morris County, P.A.L Executive Board Member, Parsippany Soccer Club Team Sponsor, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Par-Troy Little League East Team Sponsor, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Par-Troy Little League West Team Sponsor, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Parsippany Veterans Memorial Committee, Uncle Sam’s Avengers Motorcycle Club, VFW Post 10184, Wounded Warriors Organization and a proud member of Sons of Italy of America, Lodge 2561, and currently Sgt. Of Arms.
He was a member in following civic organizations:
- Parsippany Republican Club (8/93-Present), (Former Sergeant-Of-Arms)
- Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Adjustment (8/93-12/94)
- Parsippany Republican Municipal Committeeman (8/93-Present)
- Parsippany Republican Municipal Committee Chairman (6/00-6/02)
- Parsippany-Troy Hills Councilman (1/96-12/08)
- Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Vice-President (1/98-12/98, 1/02-12/02)
- Parsippany-Troy Hills Council President (1/99-12/01)
His hobbies included birds, football, motorcycling, target shooting, traveling, water sports and Weight-Training.
Funeral Services for Jimmy Vigilante will be conducted by Par-Troy Funeral Home, 95 Parsippany Road.
Visitation will be Wednesday, November 20 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Thursday 4:00 to 8:00 p.m with a Funeral Mass at Saint Peter the Apostle Church, 179 Baldwin Road on Friday at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, make donations in his memory to Uncle Sam’s Avenger Motorcycle Club, where Jimmy was an officer and Treasurer of the organization. Uncle Sam’s Avenger Motorcycle Club is a 501(c)3 Veteran charity. You can visit the club’s website, by clicking here, to make a donation or mail checks to Uncle Sam’s Avenger Motorcycle Club, 40 Baldwin Road, Parsippany, New Jersey 07054. Any questions please call (973) 265-2865.
Editors note: You will have to excuse any grammatical errors in this article. I personally have been a friend of Jimmy since 1989, and this story has been one of the hardest stories to write in my career. Jimmy I will miss you.