James C. Burghoff

November 16, 1939 ~ May 28, 2022 (age 82)


James C. Burghoff, 82 years young (“It’s my parents fault.” Jim always said.) November 16,1939 - May 28,2022, resident of Bethel, CT.

It is with great sadness that the Burghoff family announces the death of James Burghoff. James was a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather, cousin, and friend. He will be missed beyond measure.

Jim passed away on Saturday, May 28th at the age of 82 surrounded by his family at home. Jim is survived by the loves of his life, his wife Tabor, his children, James Jr., Amy Chamberlin and her husband Jack, Matthew and his wife Magdalena, Richard and his wife Ragan, Emily, his 3 beautiful grandchildren, Claire, Corbin and Owen, his cousin, Virginia Towle, who was like a sister to him, and many more cousins and friends.

Jim enjoyed life by serving others. He donated blood regularly through the Red Cross, proudly showing family when he achieved a new pin marking another gallon given. He and his sons would do yard work for those who could no longer do it themselves. If a car needed repair work, Jim would be there to help. If a senior in town needed help, Jim was only a phone call away at any time of day or night. He did many assists of stranded motorists on highways, due to something as simple as a flat tire to an accident. 

Jim loved singing in his church's choir starting in Yalesville United Methodist Church as a child to Bethel United Methodist Church as an adult and senior. He was known as the “coffee man”, a confirmation mentor (he was requested specifically by a few children), and Santa for many years at their annual bazaar. 

One of his favorite things to do was to go grocery shopping at Bethel Food aka Caraluzzi’s. A 20 minute shopping trip meant at least an hour. He would search out his favorite staff to say hello, exchange a chuckle, and advise them to take an extra five minutes on their next break.

His most favorite thing to do in winter was to don his red suit and play Santa Claus for 36 years. Jim never charged a penny for this. He said as soon as you charged a fee it became a job. Instead, he asked for donations to be made to some of his favorite charities. He loved riding in on the fire truck to the annual tree lightings in Bethel and Brookfield, going to the schools in town, business holiday parties, and nursing homes. He was often spotted on summer vacations, and loved to hear an unseen face yell “Santa”. He would oblige by laughing out with a hearty “ho ho ho”.

Jim was also a volunteer for the Newtown Fire Department in the 60’s and early 70’s. Working for C.L.&P was an adventure for him. He loved when he could get power back on as fast as he could. He knew pole numbers by memory across multiple towns.

No matter how you knew him, we all share one thing in common. His presence will be sorely missed. 

Visitation will be at The Bethel Funeral Home, 215 Greenwood Ave., Bethel on Friday June 10th 4-7. His celebration of life will be at the Bethel United Methodist Church on Saturday June 11 at 10:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either: CurePSP at 1216 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001 or on line at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James C. Burghoff, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for James

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Bethel Funeral Home

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Calling Hours
June 10, 2022

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Bethel Funeral Home
215 Greenwood Ave.
Bethel, CT 06801

Memorial Service
June 11, 2022

10:00 AM
Bethel United Methodist Church
141 Greenwood Ave.
Bethel, CT 06801

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