Cover photo for James H. Updyke's Obituary
James H. Updyke Profile Photo

James H. Updyke

June 9, 1939 — April 26, 2017

James H. Updyke

James Updyke, 77, of Lunenburg, passed away April 26, 2017 surrounded by his family.

Jim was born in Franklin, Ohio to Harry and Ann (Bartlett) Updyke on June 9, 1939.  Jim grew up in Franklin and, after high school, joined the air force where he served our country for four years.  While stationed in Massachusetts, Jim met the love of his life, Barbara Dalton, on a blind date. They were married in 1958 and enjoyed 48 years of marriage before Barbara’s death in 2006. They spent their early married years in Chelsea, Massachusetts before purchasing their first home in Pepperell.

Jim worked in the plastic industry for most of his life.  He retired from TRW as the Director of Operations. While working a full time demanding job and raising five children, Jim went back to school and earned a degree in business administration. Jim was a member of the Jaycees and a fourth-degree member and past-Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus.

Jim loved woodworking and he and Barbara started a craft business called Rant and Rave Creations. Jim made the wooden furniture and accessories and Barbara painted folk designs on each piece. They traveled the country attending craft fairs and meeting new friends.

Jim and Barbara retired to North Fort Myers, Florida, where they enjoyed a full and happy life. After Barbara passed away, Jim moved back north to be with his family.

In addition to wood working, Jim loved hunting and spending time with his family. He especially enjoyed hunting trips with his son, sons-in-law, grandson and friends. Jim and his family spent several years building a cabin in northern Maine. The house was built entirely by family hands, thanks to Jim’s building expertise and exacting supervision.  Jim treasured spending time at the cabin with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Ann; one brother, Jerry and one sister, Nancy.

Jim is survived by his sister Margaret (Peg) Malone of Bonita Springs, Florida; his sister JoAnn Hadnagy of Thompson, Pennsylvania; brother Michael Updyke of Stanhope, New Jersey; daughter Patricia Thorpe of Pepperell; son Daniel Updyke of Pepperell; daughter Paula Bertram of Lunenburg; daughter Pamela Cappucci of Townsend; son James Updyke of Townsend. He was “Grampa” and “Great-Papa” to 18 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. In addition, he leaves behind many nieces and nephews, too numerous to list but not forgotten. A Visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 3 from 5 - 8 p.m. at the McGaffigan   Funeral Home, 37 Main Street, (RTE.113) Pepperell. A Mass of Christian  Burial  will be celebrated at Our Lady of Grace Parish worshipping at St. Joseph’s Church 28 Tarbell Street, Pepperell,  Thursday, May 4, at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at the Woodlawn Cemetery  Heald Street, Pepperell.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society MS Challenge Walk team, Blister Buddies, 101A First Avenue, Waltham, MA, 02451.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Nashoba Valley Hospice for their support in his final days.


Charitable donations may be made to:

National Multiple Sclerosis Society MS Challenge Walk Team, Blister Buddies
101A First Avenue, Waltham MA 02451

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