Cover photo for James  Charles Eager's Obituary
1946 James 2017

James Charles Eager

September 8, 1946 — November 26, 2017

James Charles Eager, 71, husband of 46 years to Marel Emerson Eager, passed away very suddenly Sunday, November 26, 2017 in Jamesville, Virginia. He was a resident of Halifax, Nova Scotia and native of Brooklyn, New York. He was the son of the late James E. Eager and the late Dorothy W. Eager. James was a talented musician and served as bass trombonist and symphony librarian with Symphony Nova Scotia for 37 years. He was a member of the Atlantic Federation of Musicians Local 571.

Jim graduated from Dumont High, Dumont, NJ, received his Bachelor of Music Education from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, and a Masters of Music Education from the University of Mass. at Lowell. He taught music in the New Jersey school system until he was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era. He served with the 18th Army Band at Fort Devens, MA and the 76th Army Band in Worms am Rhein, Germany. He continued his musical training in Boston, MA with John Coffey and in Chicago, IL with Edward Kleinhammer and Arnold Jacobs where he played with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and as an extra with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under George Solti. He then won a short term position with the Minnesota Orchestra. In 1979 he and Marel immigrated to Canada after he won the bass trombone audition for the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra in Halifax, NS. Over the years he has played with Scott and the Rocks, Symphony Brass, and various other small ensembles. He was an Adjunct Professor of Low Brass at Acadia University for 14 years and had been a canoe instructor with Halifax Recreation. He recently retired and was looking forward to a life of leisure with his wife.

Jim was a loving son, husband, father and uncle; a passionate musician and teacher; an avid "foodie" and cook; a dedicated sports fan and canoeist; and he loved taking long walks in the woods with his dog, and more recently, his "grand-puppy." He had a strong moral sense, a wonderful sense of humour and was just an all-around good guy. He will be greatly missed by family and friends.

He is survived by a son, Christopher and his partner, Julia Mullarney, of Hamilton, New Zealand; daughter, Emily, of Halifax, NS; niece, Elizabeth Eager, of Hamburg, NJ; two cousins, Winifred Van Roy, of Saugerties, NY, and Janith Reiszel, of Albany, NY; mother-in-law, Susan Emerson, of Jamesville, VA; brother-in-law, James Emerson and his wife, Kathleen McCormack, of Montrose, CO; two sisters-in-law, Sarah Emerson, of Jamesville, VA and Carrie Block, and her husband, Robert Block, of Rochester, NY; and four nieces and a nephew. He was predeceased by his parents; brothers, Thomas and John; aunts and uncles, Betty and James McCabe, and John and Anna Eager; and his father-in-law William Emerson.

A small family service was held Tuesday, November 28, 2017, at 11:30 AM at Doughty Funeral Home with Reverend Jack Pruitt officiating.

A Celebration of Life will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Dec. 18, 2017 at the Saraguay House (RNSYS), 360 Purcell's Cove Rd. Musical tributes and stories will begin at 7 p.m. with a rousing trombone fanfare! All those who knew Jim are invited to share and visit until 10 p.m. The family will also be available to share condolences over coffee from 2-3:30 p.m.

Donations in Jim's name may be made to Symphony Nova Scotia and/or the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements were made by Doughty Funeral Home in Exmore, Virginia.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Charles Eager, please visit our flower store.


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