Tolan, James Edward

March 9, 2017

Tolan, James Edward ; Beloved Husband of Holly Messitt. Loving father of Junuh. Adored son of Mary Lou and the late Harold. Cherished Son-In-law of Thomas & Kathleen Messitt. Brother in-law of Christopher & Marnie and Tim & Amber Messitt. Uncle of Madeline, Meg, Helen and Lilly Reposing at Scotto Funeral Home 106 1st Place Brooklyn New York 11231 on Sunday March 12th 2-9pm Chapel Service 6pm
Donations in the name of James E. Tolan  to  Poets House 10 River Terrace N.Y , N.Y 10282  ( )
Contributions can be made to a 529 fund for Junuh Tolan.  at and use the following gift code: 72F-V72
Would be appreciated by the family.


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Bill & Pam Barr
7 years ago

Please accept our deepest heartfelt condolences and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Bill and Pam Barr

Tony Drago
7 years ago

It was a joy to be in Jim’s company. He was so vibrant, cheerful, and warm–totally likeable and lovable. He radiated humanness. Once he saw that I took an interest in his poetry, he sent me poems to read and he valued my feedback. I recognized him as a serious poet, and was one of the first to purchase Mass of the Forgotten, his first volume of published poetry. It was a delight to see him and his son Junuh together when he brought him to BMCC (his office was opposite mine). It was clear he adored his son. He left us much too soon. He had so much more to give, as a poet, teacher, father, and husband. I am sorry I couldn’t be present at Scotto’s to pay my respects on Sunday.

Francis Elmi
7 years ago

Dear Holly and Family,
It is with great sorrow that I write to you today. Jim was such a great colleague and contributed so much to the English Department and BMCC students. He was a generous, very gifted person, and I realized immediately when we were interviewing him for a full-time position in our department that he was highly qualified and I knew he would become a great asset to our teaching and scholarly efforts. Jim’s generosity of spirit will never fade in our hearts and memories. You have my deepest condolences.
Frank Elmi

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7 years ago


Rosemary Daniell
6 years ago

I just heard of Jim’s death, and I’m so sorry.
Rosemary Daniell, a sister in poetry
Savannah, GA

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