James William Shue
Belfast — James William Shue, the son of educators, whose journey from Pennsylvania to New Jersey and ultimately to Maine as a lawyer/public defender, entrepreneur and community mobilizer, died Friday, May 24, in Belfast after a battle with advanced stage cancer. He was 76.
He was described by those closest to him as a renaissance man who loved the adventure of exploring new opportunity while getting to know and understand all those he met along the way. Shue thrived on the people part of his journey — whether a fork lift operator, a junior editor at a newspaper or a foreign exchange student waiting in an airport, Jim Shue was always the same — listening and engaging to understand the true essence of each person's hopes and challenges. He quietly left his mark making that person believe in themselves just a little bit more than they had before, a gift that he gave to each of his six kids Will, Elisabeth, Andrew, John, Jenna and Harvey. He made them all believe that they were special and that they could do anything they put their minds to.
Shue grew up in Hightstown and Livingston, N.J. A star athlete and class president at West Caldwell high school, he went on to attend Harvard College where he served as a class marshal and captain of the 1957 soccer team. After graduating from ROTC, Shue served in the U.S. Army as second lieutenant for two years in the third armored division and was stationed in Butzbach, Germany.
Shue married Anne Wells in 1959. Inspired by the peace corps they taught at Ibadan Boys high school in Nigeria in 1961. It was here that Shue's love for entrepreneurism took root. He taught the local African community how to create a poultry production from scratch.
Back in the U.S., Shue graduated from Columbia Law School in 1964 and began working in government with the Model Cities program. An interest in politics culminated in a run for Congress in New Jersey's 13th district. Now with four kids and living in South Orange, Shue was narrowly defeated in the 1970 general election.
In the 1970’s and ‘80s, Shue was a public defender for the State of New Jersey, while simultaneously developing real estate projects. For a time, following divorce, he was a single dad in South Orange.
In 1987, Shue married his life's love Hollyanne Kloss. They moved to Maine with Holly in 1992, raising Jenna and Harvey, in Jackson.
In 2001, the family moved to Hampden. There, Shue became well known as the man with a plan to improve the lot of others through education and sports. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes marshaling the group Citizens for Quality Education. He loved planting the seeds of an idea and then seeing how far it could grow if you didn't care who got the credit. Bordick Baseball Park and the new turf football and soccer field at the high school are fruits of his collective activism.
Jim and Holly enjoyed a return to Jackson in 2008 to enjoy the simple life — planting a garden and taking long walks in the woods — knowing that life's richest gifts come from the simple moments of sharing our challenges together.
Shue is survived by his wife Holly, his five children Elisabeth, Andrew, John, Jenna and Harvey, and eleven grandchildren Nathaniel, Miles, Aidan, Madeline, Stella, Jeb, Hope, Ava, Wyatt, Agnes and Annalise.
A funeral service will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, at the First Church in Belfast, 8 Court St. Interment will be held in York, Penn. Arrangements are under the care of Riposta Funeral Home 182 Waldo Ave. Belfast.
Please visit www.ripostafh.com for additional information and to sign the Shue guest book.