James G. Pirie
{ "" }
Share
Share James's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
DURHAM, N.H. - Reverend James G. Pirie of Durham, New Hampshire, died quietly on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, after a period of declining health. Originally from Barre, Vermont, he was the youngest son of Elliott James Pirie and Etta Ann MacInnes. He served in various ministerial capacities with United Church of Christ congregations in Billerica and Sharon, Massachusetts, as well as Durham, Dover, Rochester and Wakefield, New Hampshire. He was also the director of elderly affairs for the city of Marlboro, Massachusetts.
During his years in Barre, he worked in the family-owned granite quarry, and after high school attended Bates College where, in 1949, he met the love of his life, Lucille Higgins. They went on to share 64 years of marriage and raised a family of three children. He was a devoted grandfather, sage advisor, minister, and ardent supporter to seven grandchildren and nothing brought a bigger smile to his face than proudly telling stories of their latest successes and adventures.
Jim loved the beauty and power of nature, whether walking in the woods or on the beaches of Maine, watching a storm roll in over Deering Lake, or feeding the birds and other animals that visited his backyard. He also enjoyed his season tickets to both UNH Hockey and the Portland Symphony where he and Lue made many dear friends.
An advocate of ecumenical worship, Jim worked to build bonds across denominations. Whether it was organizing a march for civil rights during the '50s and '60s, working with members of the Legislature to eliminate the listing of race on marriage licenses, establishing programs to assist the elderly, or bringing his dream for a state-of-the-art community senior center to fruition, Jim spent his life in service to his community and making the lives of others better through his efforts. Jim officiated hundreds of baptisms, weddings and funerals and his compassionate way of listening and steadfast commitment to honoring all those he came in contact with were far-reaching and touched the lives of many.
He is predeceased by his parents, his adoring wife Lucille, his brothers, Elliott and Robert Pirie, his sisters in-law Ruth and Almerinda Pirie, and brother-in-law Robert Robbins, all of Vermont, his brother- and sister-in-laws, Donald and Kate Higgins, of Arlington Ohio, and his sister-in-law, Barbara DeFronzo, of Columbia Maryland.
He is survived by his daughter, Lisabeth Pirie, of Leominster, Massachusetts, and her daughter, Korinna Hudson, of Nashua, New Hampshire; his son, Christopher and wife Kathleen Pirie, and their children, Ethan and Graham Pirie and Thomas and Michael Ippolito, all of Portsmouth, New Hampshire; his daughter, Sandra Pirie-St. Amour, and her husband, Timothy St.Amour, and their children, Madison and Griffin, all of Marlboro, Massachusetts; his sister, Ellen Robbins, of Barre, Vermont; his brother-in-law, Rocco DeFronzo, of Columbia, Maryland; and his many nieces and nephews and their families.
A celebratory service of remembrance for both Jim and Lue is planned for a future date to be determined by the family. In lieu of flowers, and in keeping with Jim's kind heart and generous spirit, the family asks that a donation be made to a charitable organization of your choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Purdy Memorial Chapel, 2 Concord Road, Lee, NH, 03861; to sign our online guestbook, please go to www.purdyfuneralservice.com

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Times Argus on May 16, 2018.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
5 entries
May 10, 2021
As another anniversary of Jamie's passing is here, he, and Lue, have been in my thoughts and memories this week. As his younger sister, he often looked after me. I never remember him complaining and often going out of his way to get me home from skating. Carrying me when my ankles gave out because I stayed too late. We shared out love of piano playing and had the same teacher for years. As I am the youngest and only one left in this generation, I treasure my memories. Love to all the Ma. family. Ellen
Ellen (Pirie) Robbins
Sister
May 26, 2018
To Jim's family, when a minister in our church in Dover, Jim often visited my husband who was ill. His caring demeanor sustained us both during a difficult time. I've always been thankful for his compassion, sense of humor and plain down home wisdom.
You have much to be thankful for in having Lue and Jim in your family.
Ann Schultz
May 22, 2018
Rev. Pirie is fondly remembered by me as the Minister of The First Congregational Church in Sharon, Massachusetts. He officiated at our marriage, fifty years ago. I remember a kind and gentle man whom I liked very much. My sympathies to his family.

Cynthia Keeling Clainos, Kittery, Maine
May 17, 2018
Dear Pirie Cousins - Uncle Jamie and Lue are fondly remembered by those of us left in Vermont. Their beautiful home in Durham was always a pit stop for me and my family on our many trips to Maine. We were always greeted with a big smile at the door by Jamie; next came the catching up of the families and pictures on the fridge of which they were so proud; a visit and recounting of the wildlife visitors in the backyard and the birds at Lou's feeders. Lots of hugs and kisses and retelling of stories as we caught up on Vermont doings until the next time. I will miss our visits so much as we also missed your visits to Bob and Tiny in Vermont. Rest in Peace together.
Jo Ellen Pirie, Hampton Beach, NH
May 16, 2018
Rev Pirie's legacy lives on in the First Congregational Church in Billerica. We are sorry for your loss and lift you in prayer. Grace upon grace, The First Congregational Church in Billerica
Rev Katherine Adams
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences