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Friday, December 16, 2022
4:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)
Saturday, December 17, 2022
Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)
James Wood Squires, M.D., 85, died peacefully in Hollis, New Hampshire on December 9, 2022. His life was defined by a commitment to public service, and he will be deeply missed by all those who loved and admired him.
Born on September 14, 1937 in New London, New Hampshire, Jim was the son of James and Catherine Squires. He spent his childhood in New London, graduating from high school in 1955 prior to receiving a Congressional appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. He left the Academy in 1957 and transferred to Williams College in order to pursue his dream of becoming a physician. He went on to complete his medical degree at the McGill University Medical School.
In 1964, Jim entered the United States Air Force as a Flight Medical Officer. Following his military service, he spent five years at the Tufts New England Medical Center and the Boston VA Hospital. It was during that time that he conceived the idea of starting a non-profit prepaid multi-specialty group practice.
Jim and his wife Jan and their children moved to Hollis in 1971. That year, he, along with a visionary board of directors and three like-minded physicians, founded the Matthew Thornton Health Plan (MTHP), New Hampshire’s first HMO. Jim was a general and vascular surgeon at MTHP as well as the President and CEO. He retired in 1996 and entered the political arena by winning a seat in the New Hampshire Senate. He launched a bid for Governor in 2000 but was unsuccessful in convincing Granite Staters of his vision for a more equitable tax structure.
In 2001, Jim became the founding President of the Endowment for Health. During his tenure, the Endowment distributed more than thirty-three million dollars to community organizations throughout New Hampshire. Jim was very proud of the impact those dollars had on the state’s most vulnerable citizens.
In addition to his work as a surgeon, public servant, and non-profit executive, Jim devoted many hours to various volunteer endeavors. He served as Hollis Town Moderator for 24 years, Hollis School District Moderator for 19 years, and Moderator for the Congregational Church of Hollis for decades. He was known for his ability to listen, cultivate relationships, and inspire those around him.
Recognized for his contributions to the state of New Hampshire, Jim was the grateful recipient of many awards, including Physician of the Year by the NH Hospital Association in 1994, Citizen of the Year in 2003 by the Nashua Chamber of Commerce, and the Pettee Medal Award by the University of New Hampshire in 2012. These honors acknowledged a life lived with humility and dignity in devotion to others.
Jim was predeceased by his parents and his wife Jessica “Jan” Austin Squires, with whom he shared 52 years of marriage. He is survived by his brother and sister-in-law Vernon and Judy Squires of Evanston, IL, and his four children and their spouses, James and Karen Squires of Hollis, NH, Anne and Louis Scarano of McLean, VA, Martha and Craig Hummer of Purcellville, VA, and Marc and Jennifer Squires of Hollis, NH. He is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the many loving caregivers who provided support to Jim during the last years of his life. Their kindness and compassion will always be remembered.
Visiting hours will be held in the McGaffigan Family Funeral Home, 37 Main Street, (Rte. 113) Pepperell, MA on Friday, December 16 from 4:00-8:00 PM. A memorial service will be held at the Congregational Church of Hollis, 3 Monument Square, Hollis, NH, on Saturday, December 17 at 10:00 A.M. Contributions in Jim’s name can be made to the James W. Squires Social Justice Fund, c/o New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, 37 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH, 03301.