James M. Fenerty, 89, a former longtime resident of Northeast Philadelphia and a union agent for three decades, died Saturday, Nov. 19, of an infection at the Artman Lutheran Home in Ambler.
He was the father of coach/administrator James M. Fenerty Jr., who built the basketball program at Germantown Academy into one that has garnered national attention. In 2014, he was inducted into the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame.
The elder Mr. Fenerty was known as "Bud." He graduated from North Catholic High School and was a Navy veteran of World War II.
After his military service, Mr. Fenerty went to work for Philco-Ford in Northeast Philadelphia. He rose from factory worker to business agent for the International Union of Electrical Workers, a post he held for 30 years. He retired in the mid-1980s.
Mr. Fenerty's first allegiance was to his wife, Mary F. Martin Fenerty, and the couple's four children.
He was a member of the Men of Malvern, and an avid fan of the Phillies, Germantown Academy basketball, and Lafayette College basketball. His grandson Jimmy Fenerty is the college's basketball coach.
For 45 years, he was a member of St. Jerome's Church in the Holme Circle section of Northeast Philadelphia.
His beautiful Irish tenor could be heard in clubs throughout the Philadelphia area for more than 40 years.
"Monday through Friday he worked at Philco, but on the weekends he had a two-piece band, and he sang. He put us all through college that way," said his son.
Besides his son and his wife of 69 years, he is survived by daughters Margaret M. Vernacchio and Maureen A. Campbell; son Gerald J.; 11 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
A viewing starting at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, will be followed by a 12:30 p.m. Funeral Mass at St. Jerome's Church, 8100 Colfax St. Interment is in Resurrection Cemetery, Bensalem.
Contributions may be made to the Artman Home Benevolent Fund, 250 N. Bethlehem Pike, Ambler, Pa. 19002.