Cover photo for James Joseph Reilly's Obituary
James Joseph Reilly Profile Photo
1933 James 2022

James Joseph Reilly

March 11, 1933 — January 24, 2022

James J. Reilly, born and raised in Woburn, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully on January 24 in Crofton, Maryland. Jim was the son of Elmer and Jessie Ann (MacDonald) Reilly and one of seven children.  A longtime resident of Bowie, Maryland, he attended St. Charles School and public high school in Woburn.  He graduated from Burdett Business College in Boston before serving three years with the U.S. Army Security Agency during the Korean War.  Upon honorable discharge, Jim enrolled in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and graduated in 1961.


Jim married Barbara (Ridlon) Reilly of Cuttingsville, Vermont in 1956.  He worked for the United States Department of Commerce and later was appointed as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State in early 1972. 


As a Foreign Service Officer who specialized in international economic affairs, Jim travelled and lived throughout the world, completing tours in Jakarta, Indonesia; Asunción, Paraguay; and Montevideo, Uruguay.  He also completed two tours with the Latin America Economic Bureau and the U.S. Mission to OAS.  In addition, Jim also participated in U.S. Delegations to UNCTAD in Geneva, Switzerland; to USNATO in Brussels, Belgium; and at international trade conferences.  As part of his responsibilities, Jim organized conferences for economic and commercial officers in Italy, Brazil, and the Netherlands (The Hague).  Jim led a fascinating international career and brought his wife and children along with him on several of the longer tours. He retired in December of 1995 after forty years of service to the U.S. government. 


Jim is survived by his beloved wife Barbara of sixty-five years; their children: Jennifer Massini (Anthony) of Clearwater Beach, Florida; J. Michael Reilly (Mary) of Alexandria, Virginia;  Paul Reilly (Jack Hoza), of Newburyport, Massachusetts; and John Reilly (Donna), of Memphis, Tennessee.  He is also survived by six grandchildren: John Massini, Sally Burnett, Lisa Vosatka, Kirsten Reilly, Ian Reilly, Katherine Reilly, and seven great-grandchildren; and four siblings: Joan Freely, Jack Reilly, Eleanor Duncan, and Bill Reilly.


Jim joined the Knights of Columbus in 1964.  For many years, both he and his wife were active parishioners and volunteers at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Bowie, MD. He read several newspapers daily, loved working on crossword puzzles, and took great pride in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.  A talented and avid golfer, Jim competed in a local golf league well into his later years.


Jim led a quiet life, well lived, and devoted himself to his wife, family, and church. He will be dearly missed.



Visitation is Saturday, January 29, 2022, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Beall Funeral Home, 6512 Northwest Crain Highway, Bowie, Maryland, 20715. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a funeral mass held in James’ honor at noon, at Sacred Heart Chapel, 16501 Annapolis Road, Bowie, Maryland. Burial will take place at a later date.



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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, January 29, 2022

10:00 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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