James was a “curious and wonderful” 6-year-old, said Annette Sullivan, the owner of Zoar Ridge Stables in Sandy Hook.
James would come to the stables with his sister, who would often ride at Zoar Ridge, and he always had lots of questions.
“He would often ask about the saddles and the brushes. He wanted to know how to take care of the horses. He was boy that wanted to know how everything worked,” said Sullivan.
James Radley Mattioli
“Our Beloved Prince,” James Radley Mattioli, 6 3/4, fondly called “J,” died December 14, in his classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He was born March 22, 2006, in Bridgeport.
An energetic, loving friend to all, James loved baseball, basketball, swimming, arm wrestling, and playing games on the iPad (especially the lawn mowing game). He loved to wear shorts and t-shirts in any weather, and grab the gel to spike his hair. He would often sing at the top of his lungs and once asked,” How old do I have to be to sing on a stage?”
James loved to dive off the diving board at the Treadwell Pool, swim like a fish in both of his grandparents’ pools and ride his bike, proudly without training wheels. He often said,” I need to go outside Mom, I need fresh air.” He spent endless hours playing hockey with his best bud and cousin, George.
He loved and admire his big sister and wanted to do everything she could do. They were the best of friends, going to school together, playing games together, and making endless drawings and crafts together. James was working very hard to advance his reading in first grade and his sister, Anna, was his endless partner in supporting this effort and challenging him to read more and more difficult words.
James was born four weeks early at Bridgeport Hospital. It was an ongoing quip that James came into the world early because he was hungry. He loved hamburgers with ketchup, his Dad’s egg omelets with bacon, and his Mom’s French toast. He often asked to stop at Subway for dinner for a ham sandwich, and wanted to know how old he needed to be to order a foot-long sandwich.
James was an early-riser, always the first to wake the family up, ready to start the day and get dressed. He loved to cuddle on the couch at the end of the day with his Mom, grabbing his pillow and brown fleece blanket. He adored spending time with his Dad doing yard work, walking at Fairfield Hills, and watching him grill burgers on the deck. If Dad was outside, James wanted to be right there with him. Their love of one another was one of a kind, and James was his Dad’s mini look-a-like.
James was especially thoughtful and considerate, always the first to welcome guests at the backdoor with a hug and his contagious smile. Recently, he chose to forgo a gift for himself, and decided to use that money purchase a mug for his Grandfather for Christmas instead.
James loved all his teachers and staff at Trinity Day School and Sandy Hook Elementary and found special joy in Math and recess. He was a “numbers” guy, coming up with insights beyond his years to explain the relationship between numbers and unique ways of figuring out the answer when adding or subtracting. He loved the concept of googleplex, which he learned from his good friend, Christopher.
James will be incredibly missed by all who loved him: his parents Mark and Cindy Mattioli; his beloved sister Anna; grandparents Jack and Kathy Radley of Sherill, N.Y. and John and Angelina Mattioli of Stamford; aunts and uncles Mark and Lynn (Mattioli) Forrest of Stamford, Raymond and Susan (Mattioli) Higgins of Mahopac, N.Y., Laurie (Doyle) Mattioli of Arlington, Mass., Trevor and Stephanie (Radley) Bonat of Concord, N.H., Nicholas and Melissa (Radley) Guarracino of Oxford, Marybeth Radley of Washington DC, and Marcus Radley of Hartford; cousins Lexi, Dana, Chelsea, Angelina, Juliana, Sophia, Lucy, George, Jane, Charlotte, and Stryker. His beloved uncle, John R. Mattioli, Jr. predeceased James.
The Mattioli family was receive friends at the Spadaccino and Leo P. Gallagher & Son Community Funeral Home, 315 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe, Monday, December 17, between 2 to 4 pm and 6 to 8 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Rose of Lima Church, 46 Church Hill Road, Newtown, at 10am, Tuesday, December 18, with burial to follow at St. John’s Roman Catholic Cemetery in Darien.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in James’ memory to the James R. Mattioli Memorial Fund, c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470.
To leave an on-line condolence, please visit www.spadaccinofuneralhome.com