James's Story

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ZEPHYRHILLS FL - MSgt. James H. (Jim) Sanborn, Jr., USAF (Ret.) 84, passed away Friday, March 6, 2015 at a Zephyrhills hospice care facility after a short battle with cancer. He was born January 2, 1931, in Milford, ME, the son of James H. and Barbara (Thomas) Sanborn.

Jim graduated from Brownsville Junction High School in 1948. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy on the USS Furse (DD-882) from June 1948 until June 1952, serving in the Korean War. In the Navy, he traveled extensively during his ship's world wide port of call mission. Following his naval service, he enlisted in the Air Force in 1953, serving two combat tours in the Vietnam War in the 6981st Security Squadron. He was fluent in both Japanese and Russian which he used in his service. In the Air Force, he also traveled widely. He was posted at various bases in the Far East and Alaska, finishing his career at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. He retired from his service career in 1971 to live in Portsmouth, NH with his wife, June and five children who had accompanied him during his Air Force career.

Jim graduated from the University of Alaska, Anchorage during his final year in the Air Force. He soon returned to college to earn his teaching certificate from the University of Southern Maine. He worked in Eliot, ME and York, ME elementary schools as a Reading Specialist. In 1978, he became the Director of Special Education for the Millinocket school district. During this time, he continued to attend the University of Maine, earning a Masters Degree in Special Education and a Certificate of Advanced Study. He retired from his education career in 1987, as Principal at Indian Township School for Maine Indian Education.

Following his second retirement Jim and June again embarked on a vagabond life with a fifth wheel trailer. For the next few years, they traveled the United States extensively. Finally tiring of travel, they settled down in Zephyrhills, FL. in 1993. In his life, Jim was very active with golf, bridge, line dancing, fishing, and riding his bicycle. One of his proudest achievements was running the Alaska Marathon with his daughter Susan. He enjoyed playing his guitar and cooking. He loved his house in Zephyrhills. He identified the numerous birds and animals that visited the area. He called his front porch overlooking two small lakes "the best place in the whole world."

Jim is survived by his wife of 61 years, June Ann (Banks) Sanborn, five children, James H. Sanborn, III, and his wife Lynn Sanborn of Old Town, ME, Susan C. Sanborn Hammond of Bangor, ME, Valerie L. Foster of Indian Island, ME, Craig T. Sanborn of Presque Isle and Hampden, ME, Deidre Sanborn of Hampden, ME, David R. Sanborn of Washington D.C., and one sister Natalie Sanborn of Indian Island, ME. He was predeceased by his sister Barbara Jewers of Millinocket ME and two brothers, Richard Sanborn of Cleveland OH., and Alan Sanborn of Milo, ME. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A family gathering is planned for this summer to inter his ashes.
Published on  April 4, 2015
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