This obituary originally appeared on O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home.

James Michael Teehan, 77, of Newport passed away peacefully on July 20, 2020 at Newport Hospital. Born in Newport, RI to the late James and Mary Blake Teehan on October 4, 1942. 

After graduation from De La Salle Academy in 1964, Jim joined the US Air Force and was an air traffic control operator. After proudly serving his country in Vietnam he received the Vietnam Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the USAF Good Conduct Medal.  Upon his return to Newport, Jim became a fireman for the Newport Fire Department.  Shortly thereafter he was assaulted on the job and severely injured, he continued to work for NFD, but his duties were limited.

Jim changed the direction of his career and in 1983 he graduated from Johnson and Wales with a degree in Culinary Arts. He worked in many local Newport restaurants and retirement homes until he stopped working.  In retirement he volunteered at Horseplay Therapeutic Riding Center and also spent many hours lending a helping hand at the Newport Hospital.

Jim, a lifelong resident of Newport, raised in the 5th Ward, surely had kissed the Blarney Stone.  There was never a lull in any conversation, always filled with his love of history, politics, interesting facts, recipes, camping adventures, and the joy he experienced traveling to Kinsale, Ireland (sister city of Newport) a few years ago.  Jim, a truly friendly and sociable soul, always enjoyed spending time with his many friends. He was also a friend of Bill W for 38 years. Jim’s best friend was Ginger, his terrier mix dog.  She passed away a week before he did, and they will be buried together.

Jim is survived by his sister, Julia Lowery of Newport News, VA and many nieces and nephews in RI, MA, VA, IA.  He is predeceased by his parents James and Mary Teehan, his brother John Teehan and his wife Nancy, and his sister, Kathleen (Kitty) Holder.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, July 26 from 4PM – 7PM at O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring St, Newport.  A Mass of Christian burial will be held Monday, July 27 at St Joseph’s Church, Broadway & Mann Ave, Newport at 9:30 AM.  Burial will be private. 

In lieu of flowers donations, can be made to the Potter League for Animals, PO Box 412, Newport, RI 02840 or by visiting The family wishes to extend their gratitude to all the medical staff at Newport Hospital who cared for Jim so kindly in his final weeks.