James Alfred Luth

 1939 – 2009

EAST WILTON — James Alfred Luthy died peacefully at home on a farm that he loved in East Wilton on June 20.
He was born on Dec. 10, 1939, in Vancouver, Wash., the son of Elnora and William Luthy. He graduated from Camas High School in 1958, the University of Oregon in 1962, with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Iowa State University in 1963 with a master’s degree in chemistry and in 1966 was awarded a doctorate in physical chemistry from Texas A&M University.
He pursued postdoctoral studies at the University of California, San Francisco and at Purdue University in Indiana. In 1971, he moved to Maine and began organic farming. In 1973, he became the first president of Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and established MOFGA’s organic farm certification program.
Most of his professional life was spent teaching chemistry, math and physics at various colleges, including the University of New England in Biddeford, Southern Maine Technical College in South Portland and, most recently, Central Maine Community College in Auburn.
Hobbies included blacksmithing, photography, organic gardening, mechanics and antique home restoration. He was a current and enthusiastic member of the Western Maine Blacksmithing Association.
While residing in Portland for two decades, he and his wife, Nancy Merrow, restored several properties which were awarded plaques through Greater Portland Landmarks. In Franklin County, they restored two farms in East Jay and East Wilton which were in severe disrepair. Most notably, in Wilton, they restored 352 Main St., the building across from the Goodspeed Memorial Library.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy Merrow of Wilton; their two sons, Peter Luthy of Ithaca, N.Y., and Kurt Luthy of Southporte; a daughter, Vivian Page and her son, Julian Deri, of North Yarmouth; a step­daughter, Alison Ouellet and her husband, and daughter, Michael and Iris Ouellet, all of Portland; a sister-in­-law, Ellen Luthy of Vancouver, British Columbia; and nieces, Melinda Luthy of Victoria, British Columbia, and Kristen Stancatto of University Place, Wash.

He was predeceased by his brother, Peter Luthy.

Family and friends will long remember the nurturing personality of Jim Luthy and his genius for invention and repair which earned him the nickname “Superman.”

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