OBITUARY: James D. “Jay” Tighe, 86

WILMINGTON, MA — James D. Tighe, “Jay”, age 86, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on December 23, 2019.

Jay was born on November 3, 1933 in Somerville, MA; he was the dear son of the late Richard and Anna Tighe. Jay moved to Wilmington as a young boy; he quickly fit right into the town where he made many lifelong friends. Jay attended Wilmington public schools and got involved in many sports throughout his life; he especially loved foot ball and was Co-Captain of the Wilmington High School Football team. Jay graduated Wilmington High School with the Class of 1952.

Jay continued to be very active throughout his life; for more than 40 years he played softball with his team the “Tighe Club”. Jay, along with his team went on to win two National Titles and had a lot of fun over the years. The team stayed close and made many special bonds as “family” and friends.

Jay was born to be a businessman; he was a hard worker, talented carpenter, he studied finance in school and could do anything he put his mind into. Jay started J. D. Builders many years ago; he saw the construction and real estate industries evolve and change through the years. Jay had an open mind and a keen sense of thinking which made him quite successful in his field.

Outside of work, Jay was a social butterfly, very friendly, quite a charmer and a big flirt. People were drawn to his magnetic personality, his warm smile and bellowing laugh. Jay went out of his way to be helpful and would do anything for anyone.

Jay loved his family, extended family and friends with all his heart and enjoyed entertaining everyone at home. He looked forward to traveling with family and friends; he always made everyone feel welcomed, loved and showed them a “good time”, everyone had fun when they were around Jay.

Jay enjoyed being around people and getting involved in his community; he served on countless Town boards throughout the years and looked forward to the concerts on Wilmington Common where he would get up and dance with anyone willing to dance with him. He just loved to dance; from slow dancing, to a Polka or a Waltz; he was a good dancer and light on his feet.

Jay will be fondly remembered as helpful, humble and an optimist; he was a wonderful family man and a great friend to many. If you would ask Jay to sum things up he would say “I’ve had a wonderful life” and that he did.

Jay was the beloved husband of Jeanette T. (Godfrey) Tighe, devoted father of Dana Tighe of Cambridge, Peter Tighe & wife Paula of Texas, Brian Tighe of Chelmsford and the late Kevin “Jake” Tighe, step-father of Todd Davidson of Wilmington, Anna Davidson of Tewksbury and the late Gregory Davidson. Cherished son of the late Richard and Anna (Munroe) Tighe, dear brother of Patricia Gilligan of Wilmington. Jay is also survived by several grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as many brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Saturday, December 28th for Visitation from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. followed by a Celebration of Jay’s life at 12:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Jay’s memory may be made to Angel Flight NE, Lawrence Municipal Airport, 492 Sutton St., North Andover, MA 01845 or

James Tighe
James “Jay” Tighe

(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)

Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s