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Chief Emeritus James Y. Halpin

It is with great sadness the Union Fire Association announces the passing of one of our own: Chief Emeritus James Young Halpin who passed away peacefully at the age of 83 on May 22, 2021, surrounded by his family at his home.
Born in Philadelphia, PA, he was the son of the late John F. and Eloise (nee Young) Halpin. Jim was a resident of Bala Cynwyd, PA for over 70 years, attending St Matthias Grade School and graduating from Lower Merion High School, where he excelled as a state ranked tennis player. He was a member, player, and lifelong supporter of the Whitemarsh Rugby Football Club. Jim also loved playing golf with friends, as it always presented an opportunity to try a new joke he had heard. His favorite pastimes included “people watching” on the Ocean City boardwalk, enjoying good rugby and Flyers hockey, visiting with friends and family to tell a funny joke, and having a diet soda at the firehouse (telling another joke). Most of all, he loved spending time with his grandchildren and family.
Jim was devoted to his country and community. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and served for over 50 years as a volunteer firefighter for the Union Fire Association in Bala Cynwyd. In addition, he served the public in his employment with the United States Postal Service.
James was the beloved husband of Lorraine (nee Szczesniak) Halpin; the loving father of James Y. Halpin II (Lisa) and Sean F. Halpin (Laura); the proud grandfather of Olivia, Ryan, Aiden, and Gavin. He is predeceased by his sister, Eloise “Missy” Bunner and his brother, John Halpin.
Relatives and friends are invited to his Visitation, Friday evening, May 28, 2021, 7:00 – 9:00 PM at The Donohue Funeral Home, 3300 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA 19073, 610-353-6300, followed by his Funeral Mass, Saturday, May 29, 2021, at 10:30 AM at St. Matthias Catholic Church (livestream at, 128 Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. Interment following at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd, PA. In lieu of flowers, contributions memorial donations in Jim’s name can be made to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, P.O. Drawer 498, Emmitsburg, MD 21727 or online at
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Young Halpin, please visit our floral store (…/James-Halpin/sympathy).