James Adelino Willard A.K.A “Crunch” and “Big Jim”, 32 years old, passed away tragically on Saturday, March 3, 2018. He was the beloved husband of five years to Michelle Coppola Willard. James was born in New Haven on December 14, 1985 and was the son of William “Chris” and Diane Gresto Willard. He was a 2004 North Branford High School graduate. A dedicated worker, James worked in security for many evening clubs in the New Haven area and for over 16 years he worked for Poolscape Pools as a Service Manager where he considered his co-workers his extended family. He was a member of the Branford Elks Lodge #1939 and member of the NASCAR SK Modified Series. James enjoyed camping and traveling, but most of all he enjoyed his family and friends whom he loved unconditionally especially his wife and daughter who were the center of his world. James was a “Jack of All Trades” and a “Gentle Giant with a Big Heart”; he will truly be missed. Loving and devoted father to his little angel Ava Marie and was looking forward for his son to be born in May. Brother of Matthew S. Willard (Courtney) and Elizabeth Willard (fiancé Michael Mauro). Grandson of Wesley and Judith Willard, Dorothy Gresto and the late Adelino “Joe” Gresto. Son-in-law of William (Billy) and Louise Coppola. Brother-in-law of Andrew Schmata. Uncle of Ella and Owen. Also survived by many loving aunts, uncles, cousins and his family dog Buddy.
Family and friends are invited to go directly to St. Therese Church, 555 Middletown Avenue, North Haven on Friday morning at 10:00 to attend a Mass of Christian burial and are also invited to attend the committal service immediately following in All Saints Cemetery. The visiting hours will be Thursday from 3 to 7 pm at the North Haven Funeral Home, 36 Washington Avenue. Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to the James A. Willard Children’s Education Fund or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, PO Box 50, Memphis, TN 38101-9929