James R. Marston, 80
CUMBERLAND - After a long period of declining health James R. Marston has passed from this world. He died Jan. 6, 2017, at Gosnell House in Scarborough. James was born in Brunswick on Dec. 20, 1936. His parents were Richard L. and Mabel Williams Marston.
Having spent his boyhood in Freeport, he experienced culture shock when his father, a reservist, was activated during the Korean War and the family moved to Georgia. Jim often recounted his experiences there. On return to Maine he continued school, graduating from Freeport High and then attending Portland Junior College.
While in high school and college he enjoyed playing trombone and had pleasant memories of being chosen to perform at Boston Gardens along with other New England high school students. Another favorite recollection was going to Vinalhaven with his college group to play for a dance. He enjoyed attending events at Old Orchard Beach Pier including Bill Haley and the Comets.
In November, 1964, he first met his wife-to-be, Anita Young of Windham, and they danced the night away at the Driftwood in Brunswick. They met again in January '65 and danced 'til the band stopped playing. They were engaged in August and married in October, 1965, and celebrated 51 years of marriage last year.
His daughter, Jennifer Leah, was born in March, 1968, and son, James (Jay) Christopher, in July 1970. Jim expressed pride in his children for numerous reasons, but mostly because "they turned out to be good people".
Jim worked in the sales room at LL Bean before being hired by the Portland Newspapers, starting in advertising and transferring to the composing room where he completed a six year apprenticeship. He retired after 40 years. He continued to faithfully read and critique his paper every day for the rest of his life.
For many years he was active in harness racing, including breeding and raising several horses. Some of his favorites were: Missile Might, his first independently owned horse, and others that he raised including Ima Country Boy, The Fax Man, Shadow Flight, and Easter Sundae. Easter is 21 and still lives on the farm with her 40 year old mother, Chocolate Sundae, the only one he raised who didn't race. Jim had been a member of the USTA, MHHA, and MSBOA.
He is survived by his wife, Anita; his two children, Jennifer (Tom) Esty, James Marston (Amy King); granddaughters, Moira and Kate Marston; sister, Judith (Joe) Connors, sister-in-law, Donna (Charles) Clark; and nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Family would like to thank all of his caregivers at MMC, Falmouth by the Sea, and Gosnell House; and numerous physicians, especially Dr. Steven Dobieski for his patience and understanding.
Services and celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. on March 25 at West Cumberland United Methodist Church at Blackstrap and Upper Methodist Road.
In lieu of flowers, if desired, gifts may be made to Futures for Standardbreds in Buxton, or Maine State Society for Protection of Animals in Windham
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Mar. 19, 2017