Cartwright Funeral Homes


MODESTINO, James William ďJimĒ, peacefully passed away October 5th, 2022, surrounded by family. A loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, mentor, teacher, sailor, captain, wine connoisseur, and humble caring man, he will be greatly missed by all who were lucky enough to have known him in his 82 years.

Born in 1940 in the Boston Irish neighborhood of ďSouthieĒ, Jim was the oldest son of the late Mary (Dooley) and William Modestino. He was a classic Irish/Italian Bostonian. Jimís family moved to Braintree where at the tender age of 16 he met the love of his life, Leone Mac Dougall. His piercing blue eyes and good looks captured her heart, but it was their strong foundation of love and commitment that carried them through the next 66 years.

Jimís academic discipline was a role model for his 3 younger brothers, sister, children and grandchildren. Jim worked every job he could from an early age and saved enough to attend Northeastern University. He received his Masters in Electrical Engineering from University of Pennsylvania, and his Masters in Math and a PHD in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University. To say Jim was ďWicked SmahtĒ is an understatement.

As a graduate level Chaired professor at RPI and Department Chairman at University of Miami, as well as sabbaticals at MIT and UCSD, Jim inspired countless students to find technical solutions to improve the world. He consulted at GE, NSF, NASA, and Bell Labs where he developed advances in communications, information theory, and image processing. Jim received academic awards and accolades too numerous to list.

As impressive as his career achievements were, Jimís academic accomplishments were always secondary to his family life. Jim and Leone moved to upstate New York in the early 70ís where they built a home and raised their two daughters. Jimís love of the water and boating lead to the discovery of Lake George in the southern Adirondacks where the family spent 40+ years creating memories shared with family and friends on the lake that he loved. His daughters marvel at his patience in teaching them to downhill ski and waterski and his endless patience in trying to teach them math as kids. He inspired his daughters love of travel and in his later years relished the adventures of his three grandchildrenís worldwide sense of adventure.

With lifelong endless curiosity and his Boston accented gift of gab, he was delightful company to all. Jimís hobbies included photography, sailing and always learning and sharing his knowledge with all that were lucky enough to be close to him. A self-taught sailor, our Captain took family and friends on adventures on Lake George and the Caribbean. Jimís closeness with his brothers and sister, and the shenanigans they got into (and out of) as youngsters are stories worthy of Oscar nominations.

In addition to his parents, Jim is predeceased by his sister Ann Neal, nephew Bill and niece Lynn. Jim is survived by his loving wife Leone (Mac Dougall), his daughters Michele Modestino and her husband Greg Redington and LeeAnn Modestino and her husband David Darrin, his grandchildren, James, Michela and Jessica Redington, his three brothers, Bill, Tom and Michael, his brother-in-law Bing Neal, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend a Funeral Mass on Saturday, October 15th, 11:30 am in St. Francis of Asissi Church, 856 Washington Street, Braintree, MA 02184. Burial to follow in the Blue Hill Cemetery, Braintree. A celebration of life will take place Friday evening, October 14th, please contact a family member for details.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in Jimís name to either the Lake George Land Conservancy, 4905 Lake Shore Drive, PO Box 1250, Bolton Landing, NY 12814 or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsonís Research

Arrangements under the care of the Cartwright-Venuti Funeral Home, Braintree. To leave a sympathy message for the family, visit

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