KENILWORTH, NJ — When James F. Hannon Sr. died on Saturday, Jan. 20, at the age of 94, he left behind a legacy of community involvement and a business that has been in Union County for almost 100 years.
“My grandfather started (Hannon Floor Covering) in 1927 and his sons took over sometime after the war and they had it until 2000, when they sold it to us,” said James F. Hannon Jr., in an interview with LocalSource on Monday, Feb. 5. “And now we’re in our fourth generation.”
Born in Newark, in 1930, the son of William Hannon Sr. and Anna Andersen Hannon, he was the fourth born of five brothers.
“There were five brothers and each one was very hands-on about what they did,” said Hannon Jr.
The five brothers were co-owners of Hannon Floor Covering in Union, which was founded by their father in Newark and remains family owned and operated.
Hannon Jr. said that, at one time, their business had three separate locations.
“They were in Newark, East Hanover and Green Brook and eventually consolidated into Union,” he said. “We’ve been here since about 1995.”
“When we put the addition on to the building, we had to raise the funds ourselves and he and his brothers were a big help,” he continued. “His youngest brother is the only one that’s still left. They all lived to be in their mid-90s.”
Hannon Sr. was a dedicated parishioner of St. Theresa’s Parish, Kenilworth. He was also a member of the Newark Elks, Kenilworth Knights of Columbus, Cryan Association and an honorary member of the Kenilworth Fire Department.
“He’s been involved in a lot of Irish organizations,” said Hannon Jr. “He was involved in the church. He and his brothers started a Hannon organization about 20 years ago and make donations around the holidays.
“He was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus.”
And the Kenilworth Fire Department?
“We made him an honorary member with the Kenilworth Fire Department years ago,” said Hannon Jr. “He was afforded all the rights and privileges of a firefighter. I’ve been a firefighter for 25 years.”
“My son is a firefighter in Union,” he added.
Hannon Sr. was a true family man, married to the love of his life, the late Marie Hannon, for 69 years. Together, they raised a beautiful family. He enjoyed spending his summers at their home in Monterey Beach and countless family vacations to Singer Island, Fla., and the Bahamas.
Hannon Sr. loved taking his daily walks and was known by all in his neighborhood.
He was a kind and gentle man with an infectious smile, an enormous heart and a wonderful sense of humor. Hannon Sr. was generous, loyal and full of knowledge. His strong faith, selflessness and positive attitude will continue to live on through the lives of those he touched. He will be greatly missed by all and will never be forgotten.
Hannon Sr. was predeceased by his beloved wife, Marie, in 2022, and his three dear brothers, Billie, Frank and Bob.
As for the business he worked at for so many years, his family continues to own and operate it on Springfield Road in Union.
“Me and my cousins bought the business in 2000 and we sold it to our nephews in 2022,” said Hannon Jr., who still works part-time at Hannon Floors.
Hannon Sr. is survived by his four loving children, Jim Hannon and wife Liz, Peggy O’Malley and husband Bill, William Hannon and wife Helene, Gigi Zoeller and husband Jim, and eight grandchildren who cherished him: Billy, Jimmy H, Allison, Alexa Rae, Jimmy Z, Connor, Colleen and Chase; as well as his dear brother, Donald B. Hannon Sr., and brother-in-law Ted Davis, along with many nieces and nephews.
Interment was at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield.