I apologize that I haven't blogged lately. My uncle Jim died on Wednesday and I am still processing this sudden loss. He was one of my two blood-related uncles, so we have visited him and his family almost every summer since I was born.
Jim was an extremely intelligent man who had a wickedly dry sense of humor. He was handy too, adding much to the house he lived in with his family. It is difficult to imagine that he is gone; in my mind's eye he is still sitting on a deck in Maine enjoying the crisp air, drinking a dark foamy beer, and laughing.
Jim Barron died unexpectedly late Wednesday afternoon in his home. He was 59 years old. Jim was born in New York City, grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts, graduating from Classical High School and Clark University. Jim lived a full and varied life, albeit far too short. He is survived by Linda, his wife of 35 years, by their son Jeremy and his fiancée Julie Dyckman of Charlton, MA, their daughter Kate and her husband Aaron Cohen of Acton, MA, his brother Will and wife Shelley of Newton, MA, his brother John and wife Cathy of West Lafayette, IN, and his sister-in-law Lisa Earle and her husband Rob of Voorhees, NJ. Jim had four nieces, seven nephews, one great-niece and three great-nephews.
Always a principled individual, Jim served two years at various hospitals as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. He and his wife Linda then moved in the mid-1970s to a farm on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, where they homesteaded, before moving back to the states to raise their children. Jim pursued further education in technical writing and worked for many years in that field, most recently with BEA Systems, Inc. of Burlington, MA.
Jim had a generous heart and spirit. He is survived by a wide circle of friends and family. He took great pride in his woodworking skills, and spent much time renovating and restoring his 19th century village colonial farmhouse. He was a voracious reader with eclectic tastes, ranging from mysteries to science fiction to Patrick O'Brien historical novels. He enjoyed spending time with Linda, family and friends in Brookfield and at their cabin in Maine.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Heifer Project, Habitat for Humanity, the Audubon Society, or to the North Brookfield High School Gift Book Fund.