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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Firefighter
Age: 61
Year of Death: 2023

James C. Mager

James C. Mager was born in The Bronx, New York, to the late FDNY Lieutenant Harry J. Mager and Loretta O’Keefe Mager on April 2, 1962. He was the youngest of six children—three girls, three boys. Following in his father’s footsteps, Jimmy joined the Fire Department of New York in 1989. He is credited with 20 years of service to the department, in addition to serving four years in the United States Navy.

As an FDNY firefighter, Jimmy served the good people of Woodhaven, New York, and the surrounding areas of Queens and Brooklyn out of Engine Company 293, known as “The Woodhaven Wildcats.” He mainly served as chauffeur at 293 and oftentimes fulfilled assignments at other departments, constantly gaining new insights and tactics, a continuous education.

Additionally, Jimmy worked tirelessly as a plumber and electrician with some of his FDNY brothers. These skill sets would serve him tremendously on the job as a firefighter and provide the needed income to help raise his family.

As a child, Jimmy faced a number of challenges. At the age of eight he was diagnosed with Perthes disease, a rare condition in children in which the blood supply is disrupted and the femur deteriorates. A brace was designed for him at the Hospital for Special Surgery, but this did not slow Jimmy down. He actually played on the local basketball team with the brace!

Such challenges shaped his character and his values. In a few years’ time he recovered, obtained a black belt in karate, and continuously enjoyed all physical activities including running, swimming, and bike riding. He spent his childhood in Parkchester in The Bronx, surrounded by his five siblings and many dear friends, and later moved to his treasured home in Long Beach. All of us loved to hear and continue to share Jimmy’s many stories. We are comforted today when we are reminded of the richness of his much too short life.

As is the case with so many, Jimmy suffered the scars of 9/11. He was diagnosed with very aggressive small cell lung cancer and succumbed to his illness on April 8, 2023. He leaves behind his wife, Kathy; son, Michael; granddaughter, Micah; and siblings, Lynn, Henry, and Elizabeth. He will join his parents; his sister, Laurie; and his brother, Matthew, in heaven. We are all comforted in the knowledge that Jimmy Mager will not be forgotten!

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