Sky Scene 06

James P. MacGillivray

December 19, 1964 ~ November 19, 2023 (age 58) 58 Years Old
Obituary Image

James MacGillivray Obituary

James P. MacGillivray

December 19, 1964– November 19, 2023

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved brother, James MacGillivray, who left us on November 19, 2023 at the age of 58 years old.  Cause of death was heart disease.

James was born on December 19, 1964, and grew up in Danvers, MA.  He graduated from St John’s Prep in 1983 and Boston College in 1987, with a BA in Philosophy. James was deeply affected by the cultures of both schools, which emphasized service to others and academic excellence. Both schools contributed significantly to his lifelong love of learning.

James led a life of service.  He cared greatly about social justice and was especially concerned for the disenfranchised.  Upon graduating from Boston College, James co-founded, along with two other classmates,  Matthew 25, a non-profit organization that provides underserved families with safe and comfortable homes.  An adventurer at heart, James lived in Nepal for a year to teach and travel.  While in Nepal, James befriended Mahesh, a teenager who had aspirations for a better education.  James brought Mahesh back to the United States, helping him achieve his dream.  

Most of James’ career was dedicated to teaching, notably at The Walter Matigone High School, The Department of Social Services in Roslindale, MA, and The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts in Roxbury, MA where he taught history, mathematics and GED preparation. 

For several years, James worked as a Street Worker and mediator between gang members in the Street Worker Program for the City of Boston.  He also worked with high-risk youth for The Crime and Justice Foundation in Roxbury, MA.

James was a delight to be around.  He was bright, funny, open-minded, joyous, compassionate, and perceptive.  He had an ability to connect with people from all walks of life -- he was genuinely interested in who you were and what you had to say.  He loved animals, particularly dogs, and found wonder in the natural world.  He was deeply curious, with broad interests, and  was especially passionate about history and philosophy.  There was nothing James loved more than a great conversation.  

We will miss the unique and amazing person that James was and will forever hold him dear to our hearts.

James is preceded in death by his parents, Dorothy and Dougald C. MacGillivray, MD.  He is survived by his siblings: Mary and her husband Gerald McGillicuddy, MD of Worcester, MA; Dougald MacGillivray, MD and his wife Jennifer of Falmouth, ME; Johanna MacGillivray, MSW, LICSW, of Woodbridge, VA; Anne MacGillivray of New York, NY; Joseph MacGillivray and his wife Karen of Peachtree City, GA; Karen MacGillivray Brown of North Andover, MA; Thomas MacGillivray, MD and his wife Leslie Lucchina, MD of Boston, MA and Washington, DC; John MacGillivray, MD of Greenwich, CT; Susan and her husband James Bower, MD of Rochester, MN; Dorothy and her husband Mark Roosevelt of Santa Fe, NM; and Elizabeth MacGillivray of Cohasset, MA. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews and countless friends who loved him dearly.

Funeral arrangements by Mackey Funeral Home, Middleton, MA,  Funeral mass January 6 at 10:00am, Trinity Chapel, Boston College Newton Campus, 885 Centre Street, Newton, MA 02459, with burial to follow at Holyhood Cemetery, 584 Heath Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467.  In lieu of flowers please send memorial donations to Matthew 25, Inc., 52 Queen Street, Worcester, MA 01610-1437,

see the link below:


Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know James P. MacGillivray?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor James's memory.


Funeral Mass
January 6, 2024

10:00 AM
NEWTON, MA 02459

January 6, 2024

11:30 AM
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467


Matthew 25, Inc
52 Queen Street, Worcester MA 01610-1437

Matthew 25, Inc., 52 Queen Street, Worcester, MA 01610-1437,


© 2024 Mackey Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility