James Joseph Catania also known as “Jim” to his friends and family in northern California, passed away from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 91 on Saturday March 28th, 2020 . Born in Erie, Pennsylvania on July 24, 1928 to parents who emigrated from Sicily, he enjoyed 89 great years before his diagnosis.
Jim served at Mare Island Naval Shipyard and was honorably discharged from the Navy after World War II. In 1960, looking for perfect year round weather, he settled in Napa. He often said, “I like the snow as long as I can go to it and it doesn’t come to me.”
In the 60’s and 70’s, Jim was a good father and a well-known, successful Napa businessman. Some may remember Jim from his family-operated Catania’s Pizza Pub on the Silverado Trail or from all the music gigs he played in Napa, Vallejo, and statewide as a drummer in his own band. He and his brother Joseph also co-owned J & J Pizzeria at Lake Berryessa. Later in life, Jim toured and played on many cruise lines around the world. Jim always made time for community service. He was a member of the Elks, the Loyal Order of Moose and The Sons of Italy.
Our father will be missed dearly by his family and by many others who still remember, as Jim would say, Napa’s glory days with all of the small family businesses that once graced this town.
He is survived by younger brother, Carmen, daughters Vickie (Catania) Dudley, Tina Catania, Lynn Catania, and Leilani (Catania) Behler along with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Two sons, Jimmy and Kimo, predeceased him.
There will be a family service at a later date due to COVID-19.
Donations in Jim’s name may be made to Blize Healthcare—Hospice and Homecare in Hercules (“Hospice” must be noted on your donation) or to the Alzheimer’s Association
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