Gerald Robert James, age 82 of Littleton, passed away on Thursday, January 16, 2020, following a brief illness. He was the beloved husband of Sheryl (Nathan) James for 58 years.
Born in Boston on November 13, 1937, he was the son of the late Robert and Helen (Elwood) James. He was raised and educated in Roxbury. Gerald and Sheryl married on May 12, 1962 at St. Kevin's Church in Dorchester, and later moved to Littleton in 1970, where they raised their loving family.
Family was the center of his life. He cherished holiday gatherings, celebrations and milestones with his wife, sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
He was the devoted father of Andrew James and his wife Coleen of Maynard and John James and his wife Manisha of Littleton.
He was the cherished grandfather of Robert, Michael, Shania, and Nikita and the loving great-grandfather to Abigail and Kristen.
Gerald, or 'Jeff', as everyone knew him, had several careers over his lifetime. He owned his own business, 'Jerry's Carpet Service', and later worked for the MBTA in Boston for 30 years until his retirement. He also was a long-time school bus driver for the towns of Littleton and Concord.
His love for the ocean and anything nautical brought him peace and joy. He could be found on most weekends sailing and lounging on his 32ft pride and joy, 'Sinbad'. He turned that love into a career by joining the Coast Guard Auxiliary. His dedication and devotion were so great that, during his 30 plus years with the Auxiliary, he was promoted to Division Captain and Flotilla Commander. He also participated in numerous patrols, missions, events (highlight being Sail Boston 1992, celebrating the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' voyage), and teaching engagements. His other joys included any activity outdoors, boating, camping, shooting, and working around the house and yard. He was always working on his next project, which in the past included building a house, and rebuilding/repairing boats and engines, among other things. When he wasn't busy with a project, he loved spending time at his 30 acre cabin/sanctuary in Maine.
He was a life-long learner who greatly enjoyed reading and studying to educate himself for his next adventure. His library included books on nautical history, sailing, boat building, and engine repair.
Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Gerald on Friday, January 24 from 4:00-6:00 pm at the Badger Funeral Home, 347 King St., Littleton. His funeral service and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Military Honors will follow at 6:00 pm. Burial in Forest Hills Cemetery, Boston will be private and follow at a later date.
Donations in his memory may be made to a charity of your choice.