James's Story

SOUTH PORTLAND - James D. Coyne, 87, of South Portland, formerly of Gray, Brewer and Hampden, ME died peacefully in his sleep early Christmas morning, December 25th, 2015.

Jim was born in Brewer, the son of Phyllis and James H. Coyne, graduating from Brewer High School and Husson College, where he enjoyed playing as a member of the schools' basketball teams. His career as an accountant spanned 15 plus years at both the Tidewater Oil Company and Diamond International Corporation.

Following his service in the US Navy during WWII, Jim married his sweetheart Barbara I Doherty in 1949 and they built a home in Hampden, where they raised their family and lived for 32 years. Jim coached Brewer Babe Ruth Baseball and was an active member of both the Hampden Jaycees and Brewer Recreation Organization (BRO), which sponsored Saturday night dances at the Brewer Auditorium with then 'famous' WABI Disc Jockey Jim Winters. Having a great love of and appreciation for dance and music, Jim attended big band concerts and musical theater productions throughout his life and he and his brother Terry sang and recorded music in their basement, as teens.

Jim, being a 'city boy' cherished memories of time spent with his brother-in-law, Don Everett, a 'country boy', who taught him the fine arts of trout fishing and deer hunting, which he pursued for many years, along with camping during summers with his family on the lake.

Role models who inspired Jim in his lifetime were a couple of individuals whom he highly respected and from whom he learned valuable life lessons. The first was Ralph Patterson, his father-in-law and the second, Hollis Winchester, his supervisor at the Tidewater Oil Company.

Upon retirement, Barbara and Jim built a home on Little Sebago Lake, to be closer to their children, grandchildren and relatives. There Jim became a proud member of the Gray American Legion Post #86 and was Treasurer of the Little Sebago Lake Association for 8 1/2 years. He and Barbara worked 8 Christmas seasons for LL Bean, spending the additional winter months at a home they owned in coastal Florida.

At the Betsy Ross House, where he lived for the past 9 months, Jim enjoyed the Veterans' and Book Clubs and weekly card games, and will be fondly remembered by friends there as 'The Music Man'.

A cherished highlight of this past year was Jim's May trip to Washington DC, accompanied by his son Gary and arranged by his children through the 'Honor Flight Maine' program honoring veterans in taking them to see their World War ll monuments at our nation's capital.

Deeply loved by his family, Jim will be greatly missed and remembered for his humor and wit, devoted love and support of his family and community, strong work ethic, his integrity and generosity towards his children and grandchildren and for his support of numerous public television/radio networks and charitable causes. In particular, he gave generous monetary gifts to Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Research Program and to South Portland's Cancer Community Center, where his wife Barbara received support during her courageous battle with ovarian cancer. Experiencing the Depression years had a strong impact on Jim and he always felt a compassion towards others who might be hungry, prompting him to donate to area food banks during the Holiday season.

Jim was predeceased by his beloved wife Barbara of 53 years and adored daughter Jeanie and siblings Rita Aiken, Paula Bracy, Terrence Coyne and Roberta Deane. He is survived by daughters Caron Bryan of Portland & NYC, Terry and her husband, Roger Agnese of Freeport, son Gary Coyne and fiancee, Melissa Aylward of Bryant Pond, grandchildren Justin and Joshua Bryan of Boston and Griffin Agnese of Freeport, sisters-in law Nancy-Ann Blodgett and her husband Donald, Mary-Jane Preble and her husband Charles, Sally-Lou Patterson, and several nieces and nephews.

Jim will be laid to rest following a graveside Military Honors Ceremony/Salute at noon on Saturday, May 7th, 2016 at the Locust Grove Cemetery in Hampden beside his wife Barbara. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the graveside ceremony and a 'Celebration of Jim's Life' that will follow at the home of Sandra and Ken Preble, 18 Hamel Avenue, Hampden, Maine 04444.

In lieu of flowers, the family wishes that donations be sent in Jim's name to The Cancer Community Center, 778 Maine Street, South Portland, ME 04106.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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