James ("Jim")'s Story

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BEVERLY, MA - James ("Jim") Crain of Gloucester, Mass., and Marco Island, Fla., passed away peacefully on March 8, 2018, in Beverly, Mass., concluding a long life filled with unceasing love, hard work, and devotion to public service.
A proud son of Leominster, Jim was born April 29, 1931, to parents Mary (McCann) and John H. Crain Sr. and was the youngest of siblings, John Crain Jr. of Leominster, Mary Sullivan of Lexington, and Janet Schmitt of Melbourne, Fla.
Jim graduated from St. Bernard's High School in Fitchburg, Mass., where he was awarded "The AK Bernardian" scholar-athlete award at the 1949 graduation ceremony. He then secured a football scholarship to Columbia University. Never content with success in only one discipline, Jim's time at Columbia was packed with accolades and accomplishment. He was a member and naturally, president of the Senior Society of Nacoms. After growing close with then-university president Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jim was asked to serve as president of the Undergraduate Dormitory Council. In 1952, he was awarded the Class of 1917 alumni prize room, and upon graduation in 1953, was named recipient of The Charles B. Bjorkwell Prize, granted by the university trustees to one member of the graduating class recognized as the greatest contributor to student welfare.
While at Columbia, he was charmed by a beautiful nursing student across the street, Marylin (Lynn). After graduation, Jim served in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Specialist 2nd Class, and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. Jim and Lynn married in 1954, and built a family in children, Karen, Susan, and Kevin.
In 1956, Jim began a lengthy career with the Bell System, ultimately culminating in serving as Vice President of External Affairs for New England Telephone and Telegraph. Through his career, he was an unprecedented advocate for the advancement of women in the workplace.
Jim and Lynn's lifelong commitment to the betterment of New England was unmatched. Through his life, Jim served as Chairman - Massachusetts Newcomen Society, Chairman - Massachusetts Pension Law Commission, Chairman - Massachusetts Board of Education, Chairman of the Investment Committee - James Gordon Bennett Memorial Corporation, President - Treasurers' Club of Boston, Chairman - Lexington Board of Selectmen, President - Financial Executives Institute, Trustee - Cary Memorial Library, Overseer - Wellesley Research Institute, Chairman of the Finance Committee - Harvard Community Health Plan, and a member of the Economic Club of Boston, The Downtown Club, and The Union Club.
He was a dedicated member of the Board of Trustees at Regis College, Simmons College, Children's Hospital Medical Center, and the University of Massachusetts. He received the Distinguished Management Award from Simmons College in 1977, and the Minority Management Award from New England Telephone and Telegraph in 1981. Of particular note was the time he spent in Washington, D.C., as Chairman of the New England Council, building close relationships with members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives while tirelessly fighting on behalf of issues such as education and children's healthcare.
In his later years, Jim took enormous pride in mentoring countless young people. He most enjoyed days spent with his close friends at Eastern Point Yacht Club, where he served two terms as Commodore, an especially significant accomplishment for a man who never owned a boat.
In addition to innumerous devoted friends and relatives, Jim is survived by his family: children, Karen (Arthur) Cote of Gloucester, Susan (Mark) Crain-Elsmore of Melrose, Kevin (Rebecca) Crain of New York, N.Y.; grandchildren, Jared Wimberly, Ryan (Meghan) Wimberly, Brendan Wimberly, Tyler Wimberly, Zoe Crain, Emma Crain, Michelle (James) Taylor, Ben Cote, and great-grandchildren Ronan Wimberly, Cate Wimberly, and Caroline Taylor. He was predeceased by his parents, siblings, and beloved wife, Lynn.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to The Herrick House Employee Fund, Attn: Nancy Moore, Executive Director, 89 Herrick St., Beverly, MA 01915; or The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden, 145 Bolton Road, Harvard, MA 01451.
Published on March 14, 2018
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