James Francis Pendleton

Jul 23, 1933 - Sep 24, 2017

James's Story

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Belfast - James Francis Pendleton (known as "Skip") passed away on September 24, 2017, in his home in Belfast, Maine at the age of 84 after a six-year long battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his family of five children and his beloved wife, Jo, of 65 years.

Skip was born to a Belfast family. He was the great grandson of sea captain, James Watson Pendleton and grandson of long-time chief of police and fire chief Frances Xavier Pendleton. His parents Basil and Hedwidge (Dumais) Pendleton, owned Pendleton's Ice Cream Parlor.

Skip's wide and varied interests encompassed a love for the natural world, great literature, the arts, and music. He was truly a renaissance man.

Skip started riding his bike back and forth to CMP where he worked for 45 years, long before biking was a popular form of travel. In retirement he crossed the country twice on his bike as well as touring national parks in the Northwest and traveling across Newfoundland, traveling more than 15,000 miles in one year. He also enjoyed sailing. In 1983 he undertook a transAtlantic crossing from Belfast to Cork, Ireland in a 38' sloop with his 17-year-old daughter and a friend and his daughter. He also enjoyed kayaking and was an active member of the Penobscot Paddle & Chowder Society, Downeast Outting Club and served as river sweep for the Belfast YMCA's annual spring races on the St. George and Passy.

Much of Skip's focus in his last two decades was on building and maintaining trails and bridges in and around the Belfast area. He was one of the founders of and first president of the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition. He had a nack for recruting and organizing work crews and spent time working on the trails almost daily. His efforts over the years created hundreds of miles of trails including the Little River Community Trail, trails on many Coastal Mountains Land Trust preserves in Belfast, Northport, Searsport, and recently the Hills to Sea Trail.

Skip also enjoyed the arts, spending many evening hours reading, listening to a wide range of music and was a founding member of the Belfast Maskers. He and Jo were also patrons of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.

Skip was predeceased by his sister Yvonne Lessard and is survived by his children, Tom and husband, Ken Wilson of Putnam Valley, N.Y.; Bindy and husband, Tom Maycock of Belfast; Denise and husband, John Lightner of Belfast; Andrew and Janaki of Kauai, HI; Brianna (a.ka. Sally) Pendleton and husband Eduardo Luna of Annapolis, MD and Ecuador; grandchildren, Abigail and Lila Maycock; Babette, Cy, and Rosemary Pendleton-McGeady, and Audrey and Luke Lightner as well as a number of nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank the friends and caregivers who generously supported the family during Skip's illness. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and WERU. A celebration of Skip's life will be held later this year.
Published on  September 30, 2017
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