James A. Barresi
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Castle Hill - James A. Barresi, 80, of Castle Hill, passed away on Saturday, April 20, 2019, in Presque Isle, Maine. He was born on June 17, 1938, to Vincent and Elsie (Roy) Barresi of Presque Isle.
Jim was well known for his strong work ethic, uncanny recall, and passion for Aroostook County, which developed from the early age of 8, when he began shining shoes in his father's barber shop. He attended Presque Isle schools and later graduated from Nasson College with a degree in Business Administration.
After college, he served in the Air and Army National Guard, and then worked in sales for Aetna Insurance and for Northern Pipe and Supply. In 1965 he was hired as the first employee of the Northern Maine Economic Development Commission where he served as its Executive Director for 24 years. During his tenure, he was a catalyst for investments in Aroostook County and was recognized both regionally and nationally for his dedication to growing an economically stronger northern Maine.
Upon leaving the Commission in 1989 until his death, Jim continued his commitment to Aroostook County through many consulting and private ventures, including Matane Corporation, Aroostook Starch, Timberlane Consultants, and Merlin One. He appreciated and cherished the many friends and colleagues that he worked with throughout his career.
Jim was a Presque Isle Rotarian for over 20 years and was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow in 2018 for his commitment to the reestablishment of Atlantic Salmon in the Aroostook River. He was a founder and 40-year plus member of Atlantic Salmon for Northern Maine, which established a fish hatchery and education center in Sheriden, Maine, that, as a result, has released millions of salmon fry into the river.
Jim married the love of his life, Judith Russ Jacobs of Caribou in 1965, and, soon after they moved to the State Road in Castle Hill to raise their family. Together, on Timberlane Farm they also raised Belted Galloway cattle.
He will best be remembered for his intellect, his business acumen, and his generosity, as well as his love of entertaining family and friends, especially after a long day of fishing either at his camp on the Aroostook River or at his camp on the Miramichi River in Canada. A huge meal that included a lesson on how to make the best ployes was guaranteed.
He is survived by his wife and two children: Anthony Barresi and his partner Ed Robinson of Meriden, CT, and Joy Barresi Saucier and husband Jeffrey Saucier, of Presque Isle; three grandchildren: Bree, John, and Wilson; along with many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers, Dr. Joseph Barresi and Richard Barresi.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2019, at 1:00 pm at St. Mary's Catholic Church Parish of the Precious Blood in Presque Isle; reception to follow at K of C Hall. A celebration of his life will also be held later this summer following interment at the Castle Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Atlantic Salmon for Northern Maine Endowment Fund, PO Box 833, Presque Isle, ME 04769 or Aroostook House of Comfort, PO Box 867, Presque Isle, ME 04769. Online Condolences may be shared at
Published on April 22, 2019


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