James Bradford Marden, 67, of Damariscotta, Maine, died peacefully at home on the evening of Saturday, February 3, 2018 after a courageous 15-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Jim was born on September 18, 1950 in Northampton, Massachusetts to the late Barbara Avery Marden and William Henry Marden, and raised in neighboring Amherst. As a child he developed a love for the outdoors and sports, playing golf at the nearby Amherst Golf Club with his family, and a strong affinity for all things New England sports, especially the Red Sox and Patriots. He graduated from the Amherst regional schools in 1968 and attended the College of William and Mary in Virginia before returning to Massachusetts to complete his Associates degree and learn the building trade from a local Amherst builder, a profession he made his lifelong career.
When Jim returned to Amherst, he reconnected with Susan Horne, a high school acquaintance, and they married in August, 1971. Though technically a son of Massachusetts, Jim had always loved Maine, and it was a trip to a Lake Webb in the western mountains of Maine with Sue before they were married that would truly spark the idea of moving there; shortly after their first child was born, they settled in Farmington, where they raised their three children.
In Farmington, Jim established his business, Marden Construction, and built several homes and and remodeled many more. For several years he also taught carpentry at the Mt. Blue Regional Vocational Technical Center. He coached his son Brad’s little league team; was an active member of the Lions Club; with Sue and the kids nurtured a lifelong love of skiing at Titcomb; enjoyed hiking, annual fishing trips with his crew, and swimming in the many beautiful local lakes and mountains nearby, most recently with his grandchildren; loved camping with his family in Maine and Canada; was an amazing cook and all looked forward to a home-cooked meal he prepared; and above all, just enjoyed spending time—always having a good time—with his family and good friends.
In 1997, after their children had graduated, Jim and Sue moved to Port Charlotte, Florida for 15 years and Jim established his business in Boca Grande. But Jim was a Mainer at heart. In retirement, he finally was able to complete perhaps his biggest bucket list item: Building a house for himself and Sue. With his children still in the northeast, Maine was still calling. They bought land in Damariscotta, and moved into the house Jim built in 2012. His grandchildren, who call him “Bud,” affectionately say “Bud built this house for us!” He reveled in family gatherings in Damariscotta in the last several years, having returned to his Maine “roots.”
Anyone who knew Jim would say he loved life; had a great sense of humor; never took anything too seriously; and was a true Mainer. Even throughout the fifteen months of his illness, he never lost that sense of humor, and continued to find joy in life, particularly in his family, and especially his six grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Susan Marden, of Damariscotta; daughter, Jill Casal and her husband Christopher and their two children, Isabel and William of Hartsdale, New York; daughter, Jessica Merrick and her husband Scott and their two children, Katherine and Ethan of Atkinson, New Hampshire; and son Bradford Marden and his wife Celina and their two daughters, Giana and Viviana of Buxton, Maine. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, David.
A celebration of Jim’s life will take place at 11:30am, on Saturday, February 10th at the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Jim’s final resting spot will be back in the western mountains of Maine, where his family will spread his ashes this summer.
In lieu of flowers, Jim asked that donations be made to the Dean Snell Cancer Foundation, PO Box 104, Brunswick, ME 04011, a Maine organization established to assist cancer patients and their families so they may battle this disease without the added burden of financial worry.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com.