August 19, 1926 – November 29, 2021
James Aloysius Moriarty
1926 - 2021
James Aloysius Moriarty, M.D., passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 29th, 2021, at the age of 95. He died in his home in North Oaks, Minnesota, with his loyal, loving son and caregiver, Daniel Patrick Moriarty, by his side.
James was born on August 19th, 1926, in Brookings, South Dakota, the fourth of five children. After graduating from high school, he qualified for and served in the Navy V-12 program at State Teachers College, in Valley City, North Dakota. He earned his undergraduate degree in Engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and then graduated from Marquette University Medical School in Milwaukee Wisconsin. He found time to study while working night shifts on the river drawbridges. He met the love of his life, Patricia Welch while completing his Neurology residency at Boston Hospital in Massachusetts, where she was working as a research lab technician. They married on October 5th, 1957, at St Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. The newlyweds moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where James began his long and successful career as a medical doctor in Neurology at the University of Minnesota Hospital and Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School. His patients always spoke very highly of him, describing him as such a good listener and creative problem solver. He had a strong influence on many of his students. He retired at the age of 80 years old!
Most important to James was his Roman Catholic faith. He was a dedicated parishioner of St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church for over 50 years, a Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus member, and an unbending advocate for the unborn. He adored the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and faithfully prayed the Rosary throughout his life. We often prayed a family Rosary, especially for a safe journey in the car. Dad started our Christmas Eve tradition of praying the Rosary for all our loved ones and as a blessing for our home. With all the lights in the house turned off, each of us would carry a candle or flashlight and Rosary beads. We walked in a procession throughout the house, blessing each room while taking turns leading the decades of the Rosary. Then and only then did we move on to opening each other’s gifts.
Dad was deeply devoted to our mother, Patricia. The true love they shared for each other was evident to all. Every Thursday evening, they would get dressed up and Dad would take Mom out to enjoy a Minnesota Orchestra concert at Orchestra Hall. James was the Minnesota Orchestra House Physician for over 50 years. As a young man James prayed to St Anne, Mother of Mary, every day to help him find the woman he was to marry and deeply love all his life. He and Patricia thanked St. Anne for helping them find each other, by naming their first-born child after her.
Dad loved us all very much and made sure we knew that. He sometimes expressed that love through caution and concern. For many years he had a volleyball net tied all around the second-floor banister to keep the toddlers from crawling through the balusters and falling to the first floor below. We stepped over cushions in the front hall, kept there to catch a young child who might fall down the stairs. He loved babies and his entire face would light up when interacting with children.
Dad supported us in all our endeavors. He encouraged academics, loved numbers, and reminded us that when he was in college, he read a page of the dictionary every day to improve his knowledge and vocabulary. He loved music and art and provided piano lessons for all of us. He had a positive outlook on life and often replied to complaints from us with “offer it up”. He taught us so much by his good example. He was creative and always inventive. He developed his own garlic-olive oil salad dressing recipe. Grandpa’s lettuce salad, topped with thinly sliced provolone cheese and his famous dressing, was a family favorite.
James enjoyed cross-country skiing in the woods behind our house and he downhill skied until the age of 89. He took us to area ski hills and taught us all how to ski on the weekends. He and Mom took us on family ski trips to the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan and camping trips to Madeline Island every summer. One of his favorite songs was “Let It Snow” and he especially looked forward to skiing with his brothers in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. He hunted game birds in South Dakota with his sons. He enjoyed sailing and taught us all how to sail on Pleasant Lake in his C-scow. He liked to say that Moriarty in Irish (O’Muircheartaigh) meant Navigator. He enjoyed the outdoors, hiking in the woods, and appreciated all of nature. He especially loved trees and planted hundreds in his lifetime, many of which now stand tall around our family home in memorial to him.
James loved a “good deal”, and for the most part, only bought things on sale. He was well-known for leaving the price tags on his clothing. We quickly learned that this was purposeful, because if anyone said “James, the price tag is still on your shirt”, he would smile and say, “yes and look at the good deal I got on it.” Often, if he found a good price, he would buy one for everyone, be it; kids winter boots, baseball bats, or black leather jackets to name a few.
James touched the lives of so many people, who will remember him for his generosity, patience, kindness, sense of humor, inventiveness, sense of adventure, strong faith and moral character. He was very personable and always treated people with dignity and respect. Everyone enjoyed his company. He loved a good friendly conversation and a good joke. He was very proud of his Irish and German heritage. He often said that German and Irish are a good combination because you get the hard-working perseverance from one and the light-hearted joy from the other.
James is survived by his brother Paul Eibner (Doris) of Brookings SD; sister-in-law, Mary (Fesenmaier) Moriarty of Coon Rapids MN; eight children, Anne Marie (John Ferry) of Menomonie WI, James Edmund (Kraisorn) of Nome AK, John Jeremiah (Barb) of Blaine MN, Thomas Welch (Monica) of Lake Elmo MN, Daniel Patrick of North Oaks MN, Stephen Aloysius (Melanie) of North Oaks MN, Francis Charles (Rose) of Lake Elmo MN, and Katherine Louise (Zeek Ferraros) of Edwards, CO; 13 grandchildren, Liam (Sarah) Sperl, Gabriel (Jess) Sperl, Simon (Maria) Sperl, Nicole, Jeremiah, Vanessa, Elise Pedersen, Anna, Marco, Brogan, Nolan, Nessa, and Ezequiel; 9 great grandchildren, Clara, Hazel, and Eira Sperl, Zacchaeus, Andromeda, Ophelia, Jaiden, Mahlia and Bella; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
James was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Patricia Welch Moriarty; his parents, Cecilia Anna Marie (Eibner) and John Jeremiah Moriarty; his brothers John Willibald (Bernice Goven), Joseph Daniel M.D., and sister Cecilia Elizabeth (Cyril Multhauf).
Visitation at MUELLER MEMORIAL, 4738 Bald Eagle Avenue, White Bear Lake, MN, on Monday, December 6th, 2021 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, December 7th, 2021, at noon, with Rosary at 10:30 a.m. and Visitation at 11:00 a.m. at ST MARY OF THE LAKE CHURCH, 4741 Bald Eagle Avenue, White Bear Lake, MN. Interment at St. Mary of the Lake Cemetery. Memorials preferred to MCCL or Catholic Charities of St Paul
The Moriarty family would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Alina Hospice team and especially to Cindy, for all the kind and attentive care given to James.
View James Moriarty's memorial video here: https://youtu.be/55i-X61O6NM
Printed in St. Paul Pioneer Press- Sunday December 5, 2021
August 19, 1926
November 29, 2021.
On November 29th, 2021, James A. Moriarty M.D. passed away peacefully at the age of 95 years. James was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Patricia Welch Moriarty, his parents, Cecilia Anna Marie Eibner and John Jeremiah Moriarty, his brothers John (Bernice) Moriarty, Joseph Moriarty, and sister Cecilia Elizabeth (Cyril Multhauf). James is survived by his brother Paul (Doris), sister-in-law, Mary (nee Fesenmaier); eight children; Anne (John Ferry), James, John (Barb), Thomas (Monica), Daniel, Stephen (Melanie), Francis (Rose), and Katherine (Zeek Ferraros); 13 Grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday December 7th at noon, with Rosary at 10:30am and Visitation at 11:00am at ST MARY OF THE LAKE CHURCH in White Bear Lake, MN. Interment at St. Mary of the Lake Cemetery. Visitation at MUELLER MEMORIAL, 4738 Bald Eagle Avenue, White Bear Lake on Monday, December 6th from 4:00 to 7:00pm. Memorials preferred to MCCL or Catholic Charities of St Paul.
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3 trees were planted in the memory of James Aloysius Moriarty, M.D.
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