We are sad to announce the passing of James J. Naughton, a native of Youngstown, Ohio. James is survived by his wife of 33 years, Terri Ann (Richards) Naughton; their sons, Jimmy Thomas Naughton (JT), and Andrew Michael Naughton, with their spouses, Zoie (Zolowicz), and Alonna (Younger) Naughton.
James was preceded in death by his father in-law, retired Detective Michael D. Richards.
Additionally, James is survived by his much loved mother-in-law, Mary Ann Richards; brothers-in-law, Thomas John (TJ) Richards and Michael Richards; and sister-in-law, Mary Ann Richards (Mike Rakers). Surviving family members are his parents, Michael and Patricia Naughton; sister, Maureen and her husband, Dr Joseph Mika; brother, Keith, and his wife, Donna Naughton; sister, Stacy Naughton; brother, Sean, and his wife, Cathy Naughton; and the nieces and nephews whom he loved.
Jim graduated from Cardinal Mooney High School in 1985 and then went on to attend Youngstown State University until his enlistment into the U.S. Army in September 1988. Jim subsequently earned his degree in criminal justice from Troy State University in 2007.
He enjoyed a successful twenty-two-year active-duty Army career as an Infantryman and Airborne Ranger. James was a combat veteran of the following combat operations, Just Cause, Desert Shield/Storm, and Operation Iraqi Freedom, earning the Combat Infantryman's Badge Second Award, multiple Bronze Star medals, and the Army Commendation Medal with “Valor Device.” Jim deployed a second time in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, during the "Surge" of 2006 with 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment.
Jim's additional overseas assignments included two tours in the Republic of South Korea, as well as a joint assignment in Honduras. A lifelong infantryman, James served in the storied units of the 1st Battalion 508th Infantry Regiment (Red Devils), 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles), 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment (Rakkasans), and the fabled 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment (Curahee, Band of Brothers). Other significant awards and decorations included The Ranger Tab, The Master Parachutist Badge, The Air Assault Badge, The Expert Infantryman's Badge, three awards of the Army Meritorious Service Medal, six awards of the Army Commendation Medal, three Army Achievement Medals, seven Good Conduct Medals and most recently the Department of the Air Force Award for Civilian Achievement.
Jim's most memorable and beloved assignments were training future leaders at the Florida Ranger Camp (6th Ranger Training Battalion), and as an Infantry Company Platoon Sergeant and First Sergeant during combat. Jim retired from the Army as a First Sergeant in January 2012. Some of the proudest moments of his life are the academic and professional achievements of his sons, JT, enjoying a successful career as a Union Pipefitter for local Union 525 Las Vegas, NV, and Andrew, seeking his Doctorate Music Performance and Education at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and of his sister-in-law, Mary Ann, who he loved like a daughter, a State of Wisconsin, Department of Corrections, Field Supervisor.
Post retirement, Jim continued serving Soldiers and their Families as a contractor for the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) at Fort Carson, Colorado where he served in this capacity for six years. Subsequently, Jim accepted a position for the U.S. Air Force Reserve Component, as the Director for Military and Family Readiness back in his hometown at the Youngstown Air Reserve Base, Ohio. Jim remained committed to service members and their families until the day he passed.
Jim’s legacy is that of service to his Nation and his family. He enjoyed two huge loves in his lifetime; the family he created with Terri Ann, JT, and Andrew and his Army Family. He loved his Soldiers as his own and he wanted to remind them all to “shut your mouth when you’re talking to me”.
Jim was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2022; presumed to be Gulf War illness and exposure to other carcinogens throughout his 22-year Active Duty Army career. Jim wants all Military personnel to demand the appropriate medical scans that could identify pancreatic and other cancers early, when they are still treatable. Jim’s cancer was not diagnosed early enough to respond to intervention. Jim’s 1SG intent to his family and friends is to help others not suffer the same fate as his.
Jim's family will receive friends, Sunday, July 2, 2023 from 12:00 p.m. until 1:45 p.m. at the Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home in Poland. A memorial service will follow at 2:00 p.m. Interment will be scheduled at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.