James Edward “Jim” Grant

AUBURN – James Edward “Jim” Grant, 70, native of Rangeley, died Saturday, July 20, 2019, at the Hospice House. Jim spent winters in Punta Gorda, Florida and summers at Clearwater Lake in Industry. Born in Rumford, on July 23, 1948, to

Edward and Jean (Swain) Grant, Jim graduated from Rangeley High School and SMVTI before joining the Army.

He served as a warrant officer-helicopter pilot during the Vietnam conflict.

Jim’s third crash in six months from enemy fire earned him a Purple Heart and injuries that sent him home. Still eager to serve and fly, Jim joined the Maine Air National Guard as a Medevac pilot.

Over the years, Jim willingly risked his life in several rescues, culminating in a 2014 rescue of three kayakers in icy waters, despite his advanced Parkinson’s.

Jim received a Hero’s Award from the Red Cross.

Jim was a seasoned and passionate patriot. Displays and examples of reverence and loyalty to the United States tugged at Jim’s emotions.

From joining the Rangeley Fire Department as a teenager, Jim had a lifelong dedication, of which his legacy lives on in the restoration of the Rangeley fire truck, ”The Ebby,” that he and his brother proudly drove in parades throughout the state.

Jim married Susan Cox Farmer, his partner-in-life, on January 14, 1978. He and Susan ran their Farmington businesses, B.D. Moore and The Depot Laundry with a philosophy of quality customer service, civic charity, and a team approach of not asking their employees to do anything they wouldn’t do themselves.

As a dedicated, involved parent to his three boys, Jim spent countless hours as a Mt. Blue Music booster, running the snack shack, organizing bottle drives, setting up and breaking down sets for the marching band, and driving the equipment truck when the band marched in the 1989 Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C. He was an equally dedicated “Bumpa” to his six grandchildren.

An amateur engineer and architect Jim had the ability to fix or adapt any item to meet the task at hand. Envisioning and creating a better solution brought Jim great satisfaction and equal thanks and admiration from the people who turned to him for help.

With Jim’s Parkinson’s diagnosis in the early 1990s, Jim and Sue sold their business and traveled throughout the country, first by motorcycle and later in their motor home “the Dolphin,” visiting all the U.S. states and the Canadian provinces.

A 30-year survivor of Parkinson’s, Jim ignored his decreasing mobility. He amazed everyone with his stamina and perseverance, golfing with the “Lazy Old Bastards”- Punta Gorda- even when he had a bit of difficulty staying upright.

Longtime family friend, Governor Janet Mills, recently honored Jim with a official proclamation for his decades of service to county, community, and family.

Jim is survived his wife, Susan; his sons, David Grant (Moriah), and their sons, Dylan Edward and Carter of Hope, Jonathan Farmer and his children, Jazmyn Begin, and Nathan James Farmer of Farmington, and Christopher Farmer (Jennifer) and their children, Jacob and Lauren of Rangeley; his brother, Stephen (Valerie) and their children, Stephen (Kim) and family and Kelly (Patrick O’Neil) and family all of Rangeley; his sister-in-law, Lee Cox Graham and husband Charles Nielsen of Woodstock. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, including dearest friends, Nan and Bill Stanek of Punta Gorda and Industry.

Family and friends are invited to a Memorial Visitation on Tuesday, July 30 from 6-8 p.m. at the Wiles Remembrance Center: Adams~McFarlane Chapel, 137 Farmington Falls Road (Rtes. 2 & 27) Farmington. A Celebration of Jim’s Life will be held Wednesday morning, July 31 at 10 a.m., at the Center. Please dress casually.

Jim’s ashes will be carried to the Rangeley Cemetery on “The Ebby” for 3 p.m. committal services, where Camp Keyes will provide full military honors. All are welcome to an informal gathering at Sarge’s Sports Pub & Grub, 2454 Main Street St., Rangeley, following the committal.

Another celebration of Jim’s life is planned for November 16 at the Seminole Lakes Country Club in Punta Gorda, Florida.

His family invites you to visit his memorial wall at www.wilesrc.com to share a kind word of remembrance, condolence and to view his memorial video tribute.

In lieu of flowers,

please consider a

donation to the

Rangeley Firemen’s

Association

15 School Street

Rangeley, ME 04970