Legal 02

James A Brett

July 21, 2020


James A. Brett, 75, of Needham on July 21, 2020.

Born on April 10, 1945 to James and Irene Brett in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Jim grew up in Methuen and went on to graduate from the College of the Holy Cross in the Class of 1967 and Boston University School of Law in 1970.

He was the beloved husband of Kathleen (Dawson) Brett for 45 years and adoring father of James Brett and his wife Emily of New York and Margaret (Marnie) Brett Eaton and her husband, John, of Holliston and grandfather to his cherished grandchildren Olivia and Nolan Brett and James, Francis and Josephine Eaton. He is also survived by his sister Patricia Ruhmann of Kingston, NH and many nieces and nephews.

Jim was a prominent Boston attorney focusing on real estate and litigation for 50 years. Among his many successes was an aviation crash case that was the subject of a feature article in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. In the court room and beyond, he was known for his collegial spirit, a quick wit and the gift of telling great stories. Jim was a founding member of Wilson, Dawson & Brett after practicing many years at Reed, O’Reilly and Brett. In his law practice and life, Jim was generous with his time and talents, always putting friends, family and clients before self. All who encountered Jim could speak to his unceasing kindness, and welcoming nature that made everyone feel at ease. For this he was loved by many and had a large network of very close friends.

Jim was a loyal alumnus of Holy Cross who maintained strong friendships with many of his fellow Crusaders. But above all else, his family brought him his greatest joy. Whether it was spending time with his wife Kathy on the porch at their beach house, watching his son’s football games at Xaverian High School and Trinity College or traveling with his daughter in Ireland and England, his wife and children were the lights of his life and brought him his greatest gift, his five beloved grandchildren.

Visiting hours at the Eaton Funeral Home, 1351 Highland Ave., Needham on Sunday from 3-7 pm.  Masks will be required and guests are to follow social distancing guidelines.  Due to current pandemic protocols for large gatherings the funeral mass at St. Joseph Church will be private.  Relatives and friends are invited to the committal prayers and eulogy on Monday, July 27th at 11:15am at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Needham.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Massachusetts General Hospital for calciphylaxis research in care of Sagar Nigwekar, MD at 165 Cambridge street, suite 302 
Boston or to Nativity Preparatory School of Boston.


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


July 26, 2020

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Eaton Funeral Home
1351 Highland Avenue
Needham, MA 02492

Graveside Service
July 27, 2020

11:15 AM
St. Mary's Cemetery
1 Wellesley Ave
Needham, MA 02494

Private Service

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