SCARBOROUGH - James R. Wright, 95, of South Portland, passed away peacefully on October 14, 2014 at the Maine Veterans' Home after living a long, full life. James was born in Ashland, Maine on March 16, 1919, a son of Lloyd and Mary Olean (Thibodeau) Wright. On May 7, 1940, Jim married the late Josephine Beaulieu Wright, the love of his life.
He proudly served his country in the United States Army as a mechanic, infantry and rifleman. He later received the honorable Purple Heart for his valor during combat in WWII. Growing up in Ashland, Jim began his working career as a potato farmer. He held many different jobs throughout his career, primarily working as a master welder for BIW and later as a mechanic/welder, well into his 80's for Maine Line Fence Co. He was a devoted member of St. John's Catholic Church and the VFW.
Jim was a very independent, unassuming and generous man of strong character. A believer in hard work, he took responsibility for self-teaching and learning. He was an experienced handyman who enjoyed tinkering and problem solving. Preferring to build and repair things on his own, Jim took pride in holding himself and others to high standards of workmanship. An avid skier, Jim was also a member of the 70+ ski club. As a loyal fan, he rarely missed watching his favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox. One of Jim's favorite hobbies was watching, playing and teaching pool, and as a result, he became an astute pool player.
Family time was very important to Jim. He and his wife were always at the center of the extended family. Extended family to Jim and Josie also meant inclusion of many close friends. The yearly holiday parties and weekly Sunday gatherings at their warm, welcoming home were not to be missed. Although a quiet man, Jim was always eager and willing to give guidance and advice to those he loved and cared for. He truly enjoyed spending his time with family and friends, teaching them life lessons. His five great grandchildren were his pride and joy.
James is predeceased by his beloved wife Josephine and a daughter Gail Jean Walsh. Survivors include his daughter Marie Legassy and her husband Stewart of South Portland, two sisters Gloria Swasey of South Portland and MaryAnn Kittredge of Wilton, nephew Michael Wright of Berlin, Germany, four grandchildren Suse Kelley and her husband Chris of South Portland, Todd Legassy of Miami, Florida, Katherine Guidi and her husband Jim of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, and Christopher Legassy of Auburn, five great grandchildren, Griffin, Maeve and Garon Kelley and Julia and Olivia Guidi, son-in-law Thomas Walsh of South Portland and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00pm Sunday, October 19, 2014 at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland and a burial will be held at Brooklawn Memorial Park, 2002 Congress Street, Portland at 9:30am Monday, October 20, 2014. James' family would like to graciously thank the staff at the Maine Veterans' Home for the exceptional care they provided to him during his stay. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in James' name to the Maine Veterans' Home, 290 US Route One, Scarborough, ME 04074. Online condolences may be expressed at www.hobbsfuneralhome.com