WILMINGTON, MA — James Thayer Hastings “Jim”, age 84, of Peabody, formerly a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on August 5, 2019, from complications of Parkinson’s Disease.
Jim was born in Somerville, MA on August 15, 1934; he was the dear son of the late James L. and Helen Hastings. Jim was raised and educated in Somerville and Nashua, NH and was a graduate of Nashua High School. Jim went on to further his education at the University of New Hampshire where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Dairy Husbandry.
Jim attended OCS in Newport, RI and in December of 1956 he was commissioned with rank of Ensign to active duty at Pearl Harbor, HI where he served for three years and was later promoted to Lt and became Aide to Admiral Buchanan at the Newport Naval Base in Newport, Rhode Island. Jim served the country for six years during the Vietnam Era and was released from active duty in February of 1962.
On July 13, 1956, Jim married his sweetheart Virginia “Ginny” Eames; the couple lived in Pearl Harbor and Barber’s Point, HI, and Newport, RI, for several years before moving to Wilmington in 1962 where they raised four wonderful children; he was very proud of his family.
After leaving the Service, Jim joined Buttricks Ice Cream in Arlington, MA where he managed the Ice Cream and Sandwich shops in the Boston/Arlington District. Jim became salesman for Sexton Foods, located in Canton, MA, and he finished his business career as a materials buyer at Charles River Laboratory in Wilmington. Upon retirement, Jim enjoyed many years of part-time work at Miller Landscaping.
Outside of his professional career, Jim had many other interests. He was a member of the Greater Lowell Softball Umpire Association for 38 years, from 1975 to 2012. In addition to time spent on the field as an umpire, Jim donated much of his time working tournaments and running the food concessions on behalf of the Association, and he served as treasurer for many years. Jim was also an avid cyclist and regularly participated in the NH Seacoast Bike Trek, an annual charitable event for the American Lung Association. Jim also led many family bike trips, including trips to Nova Scotia, White Mountains, Cape Cod, and Martha’s Vineyard.
Jim led his life by example and always made himself available to help others; for 53 years he was a member of the Masonic Friendship Lodge in Wilmington where he was always involved in helping others throughout the community in their time of need. He also was very active in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as the American Lung Association New Hampshire Chapter and raised countless dollars throughout the years at various fundraisers.
Jim enjoyed spending time with his family; they loved to travel, to share holidays and special occasions, and to just “hang out” in his back yard “sports complex” that included a swimming pool, shuffle board, horse shoes, volleyball, croquet, bocce, badminton, basketball, and even a 9-hole mini-golf course that he personally designed and built. Jim especially looked forward to watching his children and grandchildren grow into the wonderful young adults that they have become.
Jim will be remembered as a kind, energetic, and generous man who always went out of his way to help others in need; he had a wonderful sense of humor and will be forever missed by all who knew and loved him. Jim was the beloved husband of Virginia (Eames) Hastings, devoted father of Lynne Maxwell & husband Bob of North Attleboro, Gary Hastings & wife Heidi of North Reading, Leigh Bull & husband Keith of Wilmington, and the late Laurie O’Grady. Loving “Bampy” of Kim Proulx & husband Josh, Courtney Burke & husband Bill, Ryan Maxwell & wife Renee, Nathan Maxwell & fiancé Courtney Abate, Kyle Hastings, Jackson Hastings, Allie Hastings, and great-granddaughter Lexi Proulx. Devoted father-in-law of Kevin O’Grady & wife Lori and their daughter Shannon of Wilmington. Cherished son of the late James L. and Helen (Thayer) Hastings, dear brother of Betty Delisle and Barbara Carey both of New Hampshire. Jim is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will gather for a Memorial Service at the Brooksby Village Chapel, 300 Brooksby Village Drive, Peabody on Friday, August 23rd at 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Mass Chapter, 70 Walnut St., Suite 301, Wellesley, MA 02481 or to the American Lung Association Chapter of your choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington.
(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)
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