James M. McCaffrey

November 27, 1944 - December 21, 2021

SAXTONS RIVER, Vt. – James “Jim” McCaffrey, of Saxtons River, Vt., passed away December 21, 2021 at Springfield Rivers Nursing Home in Springfield, Vt. Jim was born November 27, 1944, in Bellows Falls, Vt. He was the oldest son of Martin McCaffrey and Lucille Laferriere McCaffrey of St. Johnsbury, Vt. Siblings include Joanne Savoie of Bowdoinham, Maine; Janet Forbush of Bellows Falls, Vt.; and John McCaffrey of Ferrisburg, Vt.

  Jim is survived by his sons, Geoffrey and wife Kim of Charlestown, N.H. and Patrick of Athens, Vt., as well as three grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his long-time companion, Deena Ezequelle of Walpole, N.H. His daughter, Karen, predeceased him in 1994.

  Jim enjoyed fishing, hunting, skiing, and kayaking, and especially enjoyed hiking and camping with his family. One of his fondest childhood memories was spending many hours at the Bellows Falls ski tow on the ski patrol. Jim also enjoyed music and played the drums. He was a member of the Bellows Falls Union High School Band and Orchestra, assisted in directing the Saint Charles Knights of Columbus Squires Drum and Bugle Corps, and participated in the Bellows Falls Post 37 Pierce Lawton Drum and Bugle Corps as their lead drummer for several years.

  Jim was a graduate of St. Charles School in Bellows Falls and Bellows Falls Union High School. He earned the “Dramatics” award upon graduation for his participation in comedy plays. He went on to attend St. Francis College, now New England College, in Biddeford, Maine.

  After attending college, Jim became an electronic technician and worked at Jones & Lamson Machine Co. in Springfield, Vt. for 18 years where he headed the first robotic machining project for the company. At the decline of the machine tool industry, his position on the board of directors of the company-sponsored credit union at Jones & Lamson inspired him to expand the credit union to a community charter. The move transformed Vermont’s second oldest credit union, the J&L Employees’ Federal Credit Union, into the J&L Occupational Federal Credit Union.

  Jim further expanded credit union services by starting the first student-operated credit union branch in Vermont at the Springfield High School and River Valley Technical Center. He further partnered with the Vermont Department of Employment and Training by teaching introductory finance courses. While involved with the credit union movement, he campaigned as chairman of the Vermont State Credit Union League Marketing committee and held a lead role in the merger of two credit unions to form the fifth largest credit union in the state –River Valley Credit Union.

  Jim enjoyed community involvement, mentoring, and teaching. He was involved on many boards including president of the Springfield, Vt. Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Business Education Advisory Council at the Springfield River Valley Technical Center, Vermont Department of Employment and Training Advisory Council, local zoning boards and planning commissions, and a member of the Board of Directors for Falls Area Community Television.

  After his credit union tenure, Jim started his own business as a property and home inspector, which he continued until his retirement. Jim was instrumental in the design and implementation of the Home Buyer Education Program for the Windham-Windsor Housing Trust, and conducted presentations on the home inspection portion of the program.

  An avid antique car enthusiast, Jim was a member of the Yesteryears Motorcar Club and the Now-and-Then Car Club, for several years, and enjoyed tours and the camaraderie of his fellow club members.

  A funeral service will be held at Saint Charles Church at a later date, to be announced.

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