James A. Broderick

November 5, 1923 ~ October 17, 2021 (age 97)

Obituary Image


James Aloysius Broderick

November 5, 1923 Chicago, Illinois-October 17, 2021 Littleton, Colorado


Our Father, James Aloysius Broderick passed peacefully in his home in Littleton Colorado on Sunday, October 17, 2021, he was 19 days shy of his 98th Year. He was surrounded by his loving Family both in Body and Spirit. He will always be remembered and his legacy will continue to live on in the hearts of his children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren.

Dad lived an extraordinary life guided by three strong tenants FAITH, FAMILY and being a PROVIDER.

Dad’s life-long love of flying began in the 1930’s when he would ride his bike out to Chicago’s Midway Airport to “watch the planes come in.” He built model airplane kits which in turn led to powered free flight models. At the age of 16 he won the Wakefield Trophy in an international free flight competition in Toronto Canada. When he enlisted to serve in World War II, he flew with the US Army Air Corps, and he joined the 33rd Photo Reconnaissance Squadron at the age of 19. He flew his beloved P-38; which was a one man-unarmed photo reconnaissance plane. He was shot down near Normandy, France prior to D-day, however; dad still insists that he did not think it was a bullet that caused engine failure but a mechanical failure. 

Our dad met the love of his life, Collette Marie Clifford, on the South side of Chicago in 1951. On Sept. 14, 1952 they were married in an Irish Catholic neighborhood Church in Chicago, Illinois, honeymooned in Colorado, and two years later they moved their family to Denver circa 1954.

In 1961 Collette and Jim became members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and sent all of their seven children to St. Mary’s Elementary. Dad was hired by United Airlines circa 1951 and his flight career spanned 35 years to his retirement in 1986.

Dad’s career as a Pilot for United Airlines relegated most of the child- rearing to our Mother, an only child herself, and a woman who raised us as a close knit, sometimes raucous bunch who learned at an early age the art of deep love, forgiveness, honesty, and teamwork amidst hurt feelings, fights and not getting what you wanted. Even today, as we look at the unique people that Dad’s and Mom’s children have become, we know it was our Mother’s unconditional nurturing and love combined with our Fathers’ love and loyal commitment to provide, that got us exactly what we needed to grow and thrive.

Dad instilled a joy of travel, exploration, and love of the outdoors in all of us. His legacy remains in the vivid memories we have of skiing in the Rocky Mountains, camping and fishing at Taylor Reservoir and hiking and backpacking throughout Colorado, and ultimately exploring the world. We all vividly recall the manner in which Dad prepared for outings, especially the technical drawing he engineered, which was affixed to the haul trailer, which served as his packing map, always followed to a tee to ensure all the family’s equipment/supplies were packed. Dad’s favorite vacation spots were the Kaui and Maui islands, since he had charted these familiar waters numerous times, it offered him solace and a place where he could truly relax. 

Dad’s passion for flight continued way past his retirement. He continued constructing model gliders and motorized planes that he would fly near Jackass Hill. On more than a few occasions, he met new neighbors while retrieving his planes from nearby roofs and backyards; all labeled JAB with his phone number. 

Our father, James Broderick, modeled and lived an honorable, steadfast work ethic for his entire life, he was fiercely independent, had a radiating smile, and was passionate with an integrous heart. He was strategic, yet pragmatic with a wry wit when he loosened up and trusted you. 

Our mother, Collette Marie, had passed away on Valentine’s Day in 2006, however, she had been very much present for the last five days of our dad’s transitioning. A sticky note, placed on a picture of our mom, on Dad’s dresser read, “The Presence of your Absence is Everywhere” by Edna Vincent Millay. We know that our mother was there to greet Dad on the evening of October 17th and as one of his Grand-daughters said “Collette will be so excited to see him again.”

Dad we love and miss you and all deeply feel, “The Presence of Your Absence is Everywhere.”

*** In World War II, James Broderick flew with the US Army Air Corps, 33rd Photo Reconnaissance Squadron. During his fifth mission based out of Normandy, he had to bail out of his P-38. Click in the photos/memories section to read his historic account entitled, “Hitting the Silk from a Lightning.”


Funeral services will be held on Friday November 12, 2021 at St. Mary Catholic Church (Rosary 11:00 am followed by Memorial Mass at 11:30 am). Committal services will be at 1:15 pm at Ft. Logan with full military honors.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:  Agape Healthcare Foundation 6041 S Syracuse Way Suite 220, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 or call #(720) 482-1988 in James' name and memory. 











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Recitation of the Rosary
November 12, 2021

11:00 AM
St. Mary Catholic Church
6853 South Prince Street
Littleton, CO 80120

Memorial Mass
November 12, 2021

11:30 AM
St. Mary Catholic Church (Littleton, Colorado)

Committal Service with Military Honors
November 12, 2021

1:15 PM
Ft. Logan National Cemetery - Staging Area "C"
3698 S. Sheridan Blvd.
Denver, Colorado 80236

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