James Radley Mattioli, age 6 ¾, fondly called ‘J’ passed away on December 14, 2012 in his classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School. An energetic, loving friend to all, James loved baseball, basketball, swimming, arm wrestling and playing games on the iPad (especially the lawn mowing game). He loved to wear shorts and t-shirts in any weather, and grab the gel to spike his hair. He would often sing at the top of his lungs and once asked, “How old do I have to be to sing on a stage?” James loved to dive off the diving board at the Treadwell Pool, swim like a fish in both of his grandparents’ pools and ride his bike, proudly without training wheels. He often said, “I need to go outside Mom, I need fresh air.” He loved and admired his big sister and wanted to do everything that she could do. They were the best of friends, going to school together, playing games together, and making endless drawings and crafts together. James was working very hard to advance his reading in 1st Grade and his sister Anna was his endless partner in supporting this effort and challenging him to read more and more difficult words. James was born 4 weeks early at Bridgeport Hospital. It was an ongoing quip that James came into the world early because he was hungry. He loved hamburgers with ketchup, his Dad’s egg omelets with bacon, and his Mom’s french toast. He often asked to stop at Subway for dinner for a ham sandwich, and wanted to know how old he needed to be to order a ‘footlong’ sandwich. James was an early-riser, always the first to wake the family up, ready to start the day and get dressed. He loved to ‘cuddle’ on the couch at the end of the day with his Mom grabbing his pillow and brown fleece blanket. He adored spending time with his Dad doing yard work, walking at Fairfield Hills and watching him grill burgers on the deck. If Dad was outside, James wanted to be right there with him. Their love of one another was one of a kind and James was his Dad’s mini look-a-like.James was especially thoughtful and considerate, always the first to welcome guests at the backdoor with a hug and his contagious smile. Recently he chose to forgo a gift for himself, and decided to use that money to purchase a mug for his Grandfather for Christmas instead. James loved all teachers and staff at Trinity Day School and Sandy Hook Elementary School and found special joy in math and recess. He was a ‘numbers’ guy, coming up with insights beyond his years to explain the relationship between numbers and unique ways of figuring out the answer when adding or subtracting. He loved the concept of ‘googleplex’ which he learned from his good friend Christopher.
In lieu of flowers, loved ones can donate to a memorial fund, the James R. Mattioli Memorial Fund c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470.