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James "Jim" Edmund Saunders
April 27, 1944 ~ October 21, 2023 (age 79) 79 Years Old
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James (Jim) Edmund Saunders passed away due to cancer on October 21st peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family. Jim was born in 1944 in Brooklyn, NY to Edmund Alexander and Frances Marie (Murray) Saunders. Originally named James Sendrowski, his parents changed the family name to Saunders, when he was five years old. Jim graduated from St. Augustine High School, earned a BS degree at Manhattan College and Masters Degrees at the University of Dayton and Purdue University followed by a PhD in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina. During high school and college in NYC, Jim worked a wide variety of jobs including as a runner for a document delivery service, a mail sorter and carrier for the Post Office, and a night crew cleaner at City College of NY. After completing his education, Jim specialized in IR Spectroscopy and worked in the Technical Assistance Laboratory at Osram Sylvania in Danvers and Beverly his entire career.
He is remembered by his loving wife, Mary (Anthony) Saunders and their children: Cathryn (Steve) Varga in Coralville, Iowa, Lauren (Andrew) Boylan in Ipswich, MA, and Margaret (Sean) Colleran in Orange County, CA. He and Mary took delight in their grandchildren: Erinn and Aimee Varga; Jacob and Hazel Boylan; and Ronan, Liam, and Fiona Colleran. He is the oldest of four siblings: Eileen (Frank) Wilson, Ed (Kathleen) Saunders, and Carolyn (Ed) Murdock. He is also loved by a close extended family of in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
As a Georgetown resident since 1974, Jim has been involved in the community in numerous ways. He was an active member and president of the high school All Sports Boosters even after his own daughters graduated. Jim’s love of gardening led him to lend his talents to both of Georgetown’s garden clubs. He enjoyed working at the annual Mother’s Day plant sale, often in the drizzling rain. The Children’s Garden at the Library blossomed under his care. His labor was also given to the gardens at Camp Denison and he assisted fellow members at the Town Hall, Main Street, and other plantings around town. Since his retirement, you could find him on Tuesdays, greatly enjoying his time working with the volunteers to improve the buildings and grounds of Georgetown’s Camp Denison.
Jim never met a plant he didn’t want to try growing, except boxwood. He and Mary transformed their barren acre into a veritable arboretum bursting with flowers, fruits, and vegetables whose bounty they shared with their friends at their gourmet club gatherings that stretched into lifelong friendships. Music, art, books, travel, camping, fishing, and food added seasoning to his life. Never wanting anything to go to waste, Jim was adept at repurposing found wood into toys, tables, benches, and cabinets to give to family and friends. On his travels with Mary to Italy, Ireland, and New Zealand he found beauty in new landscapes captured by his camera. He carefully selected small treasures; driftwood, a curiously shaped rock, a brilliantly colored shell to put in his pocket. Placed with care in displays at home that infuse the house with memories. He liked road trips, stringing together visits with family and National Parks while playing oldies on the radio. Music was central to his life. He amassed an impressive collection of folk, classical, rock, and musicals. Jim was an avid and vocal fan of local professional sports teams, as well as those of his many colleges and the University of Notre Dame. Visiting his far-flung family, especially children and grandchildren, meant much to Jim.
Arrangements: Visitation hours will be held at the Conte-Giamberardino Funeral Home, 14 Pleasant St., Georgetown, on Friday, October 27th from 2 PM - 5 PM. His Funeral Mass will be held to celebrate Jim’s life on Saturday, October 28th at 12:30 PM at St. Mary Parish, 94 Andover St., Georgetown. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made by check to the Friends of Camp Denison, 84 Nelson St., Georgetown, MA 01833 or the charity of your choice.