James M. Meikle, 83: Valued his family, community, country
YARMOUTH — James M. Meikle, 83, died June 8 at Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick surrounded by family.
Born Jan. 21, 1928, in Arlington, Mass., the son of James Meikle and Agnes “Nancy” Tait. He was immensely proud of his Scottish heritage and was a 50-year life member of the Scots Charitable Society.
During World War II, while still in high school, he enlisted in the Massachusetts State Guard. After receiving his high school diploma in 1945, he enlisted as a seaman in the U.S. Navy.
He attended Cambridge and Suffolk University in Boston, and received his bachelor’s degree from the College of Business Administration in 1950.
On Oct. 12, 1950, he married his longtime sweetheart, Alice May Hooton, and raised their four children together until her death in 1963 from cancer. He later married Nancy A. Carter on Aug. 19, 1966.
His successful career in the public utility business spanned 34 years, beginning in 1952 as manager of systems and procedures with New England Gas and Electric Company in Cambridge, until he retired from the company in 1984 as vice president of administrative services.
In 1992 he and his wife Nancy moved to their retirement home, “Lucky Ledge,” on Cundy's Point in Harpswell, where he pursued his love of boating and flower gardening. He derived much pleasure by introducing his children and grandchildren to the pleasures of nature, especially the ocean. In 2005 they sold "Lucky Ledge" and moved to Yarmouth.
His community volunteerism was remarkable, and he made lasting contributions to every community he lived in. Over the years he served as director of the Bedford, Mass., Lions Club; founding member of the Westborough, Mass., Rotary International chapter; vice president of the Boy Scouts of America, Algonquin Council in Southborough, Mass.; chairman of the United Way of Worcester, Mass.; president of the Cambridge, Mass., Chamber of Commerce; member of Brunswick Rotary and Paul Harris fellow; and charter member of John Leo Murray Jr. American Legion Post 171 of Harpswell.
After a 1969 car accident left his daughter Linda with serious brain injuries, he also served as an advocate for her and others with brain injuries. He served as director of the national Head Injury Association in Framingham Mass., and later served as a director of Shoreline Mental Health in Brunswick.
He and Nancy actively pursued their interest in genealogy after he retired. They traveled to Scotland twice to learn more about his ancestors, visited the Midwest to learn about Nancy's heritage, and enjoyed learning about Alice Hooton’s colonial ancestors who participated in the founding of Boston’s Old North Church and the Boston Tea Party. Several years ago he donated his research to the Manuscript Collection of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.
He was passionate in all his life pursuits and felt enormous gratitude for his friends and family. In 2009 he wrote his life story, “The Ride of My Life,” and encouraged everybody he met to write their story.
He was predeceased by his first wife, Alice May Hooton, his oldest daughter, Linda J., and a sister, Margaret Birch.
Surviving are his wife of 44 years, Nancy A. Carter of Yarmouth; three children and their spouses, daughter Nancy J. and husband Steve Orlando of Westborough, Mass., son James D. and wife Carole Stenger of Westborough, Mass., and son David C. and wife Carol Bibbo of Bokeelia, Fla.; seven grandchildren who lovingly called him “Jimpa,” Mikayla O. Smith, Joel S. Orlando, James A., Kathryn E. , and Denise N. Meikle, and Robert J. and Lisa M. Campbell; his sister Janet Barr of East Greenwich, R.I.; one niece and six nephews.
Calling hours will be held from 4-7 p.m. Friday, June 17, at Brackett’s Funeral Home in Brunswick.
A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, June 18, at 1:30 p.m. at First Parish, Brunswick.
Memorial donations may be made to Mid Coast Hospital, in benefit of the nursing staff, P.O. Box 279, Brunswick, ME 04011, or to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, to benefit the Manuscript Collection, 101 Newbury St., Boston MA 02116-3007.