Swanton - James A Douglas, 75, passed away peacefully February 26, 2013. He was born January 20, 1938, in St. Albans, the son of the late Arthur & Mae (Disley) Douglas.
Jim grew up in St. Albans and attended the St. Mary’s school system, graduating in 1955. During school, Jim met and eventually married the love of his life, Ruth Hemond.
With his love for trains, Jim began his career at the Central Vermont Railroad as a Station Agent and Telegrapher. He then worked at the Border Patrol in St. Albans as a Radio Operator and he independently studied electronics, earning his CIE degree in electronics technology. Aspiring for experience, Jim accepted an Electronics Technician job in Rutland in 1967 with the State Police and he worked in both Rutland and Rockingham. Furthering his career, in 1970 Jim accepted a Border Patrol Electronics Technician position in Houlton, ME. With their passion for Vermont, Jim and Ruth moved their family back to Swanton in 1973 when an Electronics Technician opportunity became available at the Border Patrol Swanton sector headquarters. During his Border Patrol career, he was responsible for aerial and terrestrial border surveillance devices and systems as well as Border Patrol communications on the Canadian border. His role grew with the sector expansion into Chief Electronics Technician and Telecommunication Specialist positions ranging beyond VT to NH and NY. He earned incremental responsibility for Border Patrol communications in Puerto Rico and portions of the east coast. Jim excelled in surveillance technology with further schooling, ingenuity and experience. He consulted directly with surveillance suppliers to design and implement latest technology surveillance systems for southern and northern border environments. In 1997, he joyously celebrated his Border Patrol retirement with family and friends including his incredible Border Patrol co-worker family who he continued to have friendships, story swapping and laughter with post retirement. Additionally, Jim and Ruth thoroughly enjoyed their extensive traveling experiences, based upon his work adventures.
Jim was sadly predeceased by Ruth in October 2010. Jim is survived by his children and their spouses, Michael and Karen of Fairfield, Lynn of Camillus, NY, Gregory and Kim of St. Albans and Brian & Michelle of Highgate. Jim’s greatest joy was spending time with his grandchildren, Matthew, Evan, James, Brenna, Jonathan, Daniel, Andrew and great-grandson Grayson. Jim is also survived by his brother-in-law, Gerard Hemond and his wife, Donna, two nephews and their wives, Scott, Rose, Dwight, Tami and their children. Lastly, Jim is survived by his close cousin, John Assid and his life partner, Lorraine Raleigh.
Jim’s life will be cherished and celebrated by his children, grandchildren, great-grandchild, friends and extended family who have amazing memories with him. He taught us all to work and to play equally hard as he demonstrated the true value and balance of family and life.
He touched so many lives, including his extended family of dear friends,neighbors and co-workers. As important, they touched him, they cared for him and they fulfilled his life.
He was happiest enjoying life with family and friends, at the Lake Champlain “camp” which Ruth and he owned since 1962. He loved sharing boating, waterskiing, his water “toys,” fishing with grandchildren, his latest gadget or electrical device ingenious repair, picnic table meals and conversations and laughter with his dear friends and family. Jim also loved music, cars, trains, taking his family and friends on mountain hikes to check his repeater sites throughout New England, travel and the Catholic Church.
There will be visiting hours Thursday evening, March 7, 2013, from 6 to 9 PM at Heald Funeral Home, 87 S. Main St., St. Albans.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Angels Church on Lake St at 10:00 AM, Friday, March 8, 2013. A burial service and celebration for both Jim and Ruth’s cremated remains will occur this summer. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Jim to Camp Ta Kum Ta, PO Box 459, South Hero, VT 05486 or http://www.takumta.org. Condolences can also be made via www.healdfuneralhome.com.