Maj. Brohpy's family is escorted from the civic center by a Marine
as local officials follow
POUGHKEEPSIE – United States Marine Corps Major James Brophy was
laid to rest Friday in Poughkeepsie. The Staatsburg resident perished
in what has been described as an 'aviation mishap' during a training mission
over the Sea of Japan on December 6. In addition to Brophy, five additional
Marines were killed in the accident.
At a service at the Nesheiwat Convention Center, a crowd of more than
400 family and friends joined with military and emergency services personnel
listened as Major Brophy was eulogized. His childhood friend Peter Matranga
joined Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell Maury, Brophy's commanding officer,
and Major Mark Bock a friend made while they served in the Marine Corps.
Lt. Colonel Maury led the eulogies saying that Brophy "was a husband,
a father, a son, a brother and a friend." Maury cited Brophy's professionalism,
leadership, his laughter, and his smile when recalling the fond memories
he had of his fellow Marine. According to Maury, the late major had the
ability to bring out the best in his Marines. He recounted receiving what
he describes as "a call that will stay with me forever" at 2:14
in the morning on December 6 informing him of the accident. "I kept
waiting to hear 'Exercise, exercise, exercise' in hopes that it was only
a drill, but it was not. The shock still resonates with me today."
Major Mark Bock spoke of how much he cherished the friendship that had
grown between him and Brophy while gently wiping tears from his eyes.
The teary-eyed Major recounted how quickly Brophy had become one of his
best friends while being stationed together at Marine Corps Air Station
Cherry Point, NC where Brophy was training to fly the large KC-130J aircraft.
"James was a phenomenal Marine and a phenomenal father," said
Citing Brophy's constant smile, he told of two rare instances when he
didn't see the smile. The first was when they were staying at a hotel
and while getting dressed for an event, Brophy noted that the hotel water
had ruined a shirt that his wife Erica had given him. The second was when
a group of them went fishing, a passion of Brophy's and "Broph"
Brophy's lifelong friend Peter Matragana spoke of growing up with the
future Marine and how, even at a young age, Brophy was always challenging
those around him and pushing them to do better. Matranga recounted how,
growing up together, they shared many milestones including learning to
play catch, fish and play golf. "James was the only one that caught
a fish at my fifth-grade birthday party - something I still hold against
him" said his friend, bringing a brief laugh from the otherwise somber
Major Brophy is survived by his wife Erica, 4-year-old son Jack and 1-year-old
daughter Avery along with his sister Lauren and parents Mike and Virginia
Brophy. The major's father recently retired as a captain with the City
of Poughkeepsie Fire Department where he bravely served for more than
In a statement released by the family, Major Brophy is described as "a
loving husband who provided endless energy to his children; often seen
pulling them in a wagon around the neighborhood and playing soccer until
sundown. When home, his daughter was always in his arms. His family will
remember him as adventurous, humble, caring and always adorned with a
Major James Brophy was escorted to the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery by
a procession of police motorcycles from Poughkeepsie PD, including Chief
Tom Pape, Dutchess County Sheriff's Office, Westchester PD, Yonkers PD
Copyright © 2018
Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc.
This story may not be reproduced in any form, by any media, without express written consent.
This includes rewriting, broadcasting and/or printing of material from MidHudsonNews.com,
by websites, radio
television stations, newspapers or other media