James Thomas Hirni
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James Thomas Hirni
  • January 13, 1946 - May 18, 2017
  • Hollis, New Hampshire

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James "Jim" Hirni passed away at his home, surrounded by family on May 18, 2017, after a four-year battle with Glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer. He was 71 years of age, and was a long-time resident of Hollis, NH. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Cheryl Hirni (Dooley). Jim left behind two sons Scott Hirni and spouse Caroline (Schiralli) of Purcellville, VA, and James Hirni and spouse Tzeitel (Fetter) of Daniel Island, SC; as well his grandchildren, Caroline Reagan of Daniel Island, SC, and Sarah Merritt, Chloe Lynn, and Claire Margaret of Purcellville, VA. He is also survived by his sister, Ava Goodhue of Harleyville, SC, and her husband George.

Born January 13, 1946, in Miami, FL, Jim was the son of the late Fred Hirni and the late Ava Grey Prevatte Hirni of Miami. Jim graduated from Miami's Southwest High School in 1964, where he was an accomplished athlete; serving as a member of Southwest's varsity football and track teams. As a life-long Florida Gator, Jim graduated from the University of Florida in 1969 with a B.S. Degree in Engineering Science.

In 1971, Jim moved his family to Nashua, NH, and completed a M.S. Degree in Engineering Management from Northeastern University. His academic achievements were the beginning of a life-long passion for mathematics, engineering, and computers.

Jim spent more than 45 years working in the computer industry across the Northeast, Florida, the Carolinas as well as internationally in India and France. It was during this extensive career in computers that Jim gained the nickname, "Lead Dog." One of Jim's favorite sayings was "If you are not the Lead Dog, the view never changes." The Lead Dog managed many teams for companies like Pratt & Whitney, Digital Equipment Company, Jupiter Technology, Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN), PakNetx, Aspect Communications and Tekelec Inc. While at Aspect Communications, Jim and four of his colleagues, secured patents and completed the successful sale of their startup endeavor.

Jim was passionate about leadership, serving others and giving back to the community. After retiring in 2008, Jim entered the field of teaching. Jim spent more than five years in the classroom educating the next generation of computer engineers and providing them with a foundation to be successful.

Jim's many interests included his grandchildren, gardening, landscaping, bee keeping, collecting and drinking fine wines, golf, travel with his family, playing the guitar, listening to classical and blues music, SEC Football and his favorite team - the New England Patriots.

A service of celebration will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, June 10th, Zis-Sweeney Funeral Home, 26 Kinsley Street, Nashua. The family will welcome all of Jim's friends immediately following at the family home in Hollis.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Jim's memory to the Jim Hirni Scholarship Fund, c/o Merrimack Valley Beekeepers Association (MVB), 31 Hillside Terrace, Merrimack, NH 03054 - http://www.mvbee.org/.