James D. Redwine, Jr., Edward Little Professor of the English Language and Literature and Honorary member of the Bowdoin Alumni Association, died on March 22, 2023, in Brunswick, Maine.
(The following notice was shared by President Rose on March 30, 2023)
To faculty and staff,
I am sorry to inform you that James D. Redwine Jr., Edward Little Professor of the English Language and Literature Emeritus, died at the age of ninety-one in Brunswick on March 22, 2023, surrounded by his family.
Jim was born in Macon, Georgia, on January 4, 1932. He graduated from Duke University in 1954, where he also played football. He earned a master’s degree in English with honors at Columbia University in 1956 and went on to earn his doctorate in English at Princeton University in 1962. He taught English at the University of Cincinnati from 1961 to 1963 and joined the Bowdoin faculty in the fall of 1963 as an assistant professor of English. He was promoted to associate professor in 1969 and to professor in 1975, the same year he was named Bowdoin’s Edward Little Professor of the English Language and Literature.
Jim was a scholar of the literature of the English Renaissance and was recognized as a specialist in the works of Ben Jonson. Among his publications were Ben Jonson’s Criticism of the Drama (1963) and Ben Jonson’s Literary Criticism (1970), the first complete collection and analysis of the criticism of the English dramatist. Jim served several terms as chair of the English department at Bowdoin and retired from teaching in 1996. He was held in high esteem by his colleagues, students, and his neighbors in the Brunswick community, and he savored the simple pleasures of living in Maine—from sailing and hiking to enjoying local restaurants.
Jim married Kate Bertles in 1966, and the couple traveled widely and were avid supporters of the arts. Kate died in 1982. Three years later, Jim married Judith Smith. They divorced in 2000. Jim is loved and missed by his children, Jamie (Robin), Lisel, Stephanie, Katybel, Sarah, Nate, and Hannah; his thirteen grandchildren; his sister, Margaret Timberlake (Timothy); and his brother, Craighill Redwine (Helen).
Jim’s life will be celebrated at a private ceremony at a later date.
We extend our sympathies to Jim’s family with gratitude for his legacy as a teacher, scholar, colleague, and friend over the years, for his long and valuable service to the College, and for his dedication to his discipline and to generations of Bowdoin students.
(The following was provided by the Portland Press Herald on March 28, 2023)
James “Jim” Daniel Redwine Jr. of Brunswick, died peacefully, surrounded by family on March 22, 2023.
Jim was born January 4, 1932, in Macon, GA, the oldest child of four, to parents J. Daniel “Dr. Dan” Redwine, Sr., and Hazel “Gog” Louise Slaughter Redwine.
Jim was awarded his bachelor of arts from Duke University in 1954, where he played football for the Blue Devils. In 1956, he earned a masters of arts from Columbia University. His Ph.D. was awarded in 1962 from Princeton University. Finally, after being strongly encouraged by his father to “get a job,” he became an assistant professor at University of Cincinnati from 1961-1963.
In 1963, he began his long tenure at Bowdoin College as the Edward Little Professor of English Language and Literature, and where he served as department chair. While teaching at Bowdoin, he frequently lunched with fellows at the original Chuck Wagon or the Bowdoin Steakhouse. Jim was often seen toting student papers, constructively marked with red pen, in a basket adorned on his Schwinn bike. He retired in 1996 after being widely published and beloved by many with whom he worked and taught.
He married Kate Bertles on February 19, 1966, in Brunswick and they had a son, James “Jamie” Daniel Redwine III in 1967. Jim and Katie were often traveling or entertaining friends and were avid foodies and supporters of the arts. Jim stayed by her side until her passing in 1982. From 1985 to 2000 Jim was married to Judith. Together, they enjoyed sailing the Casco Bay and visiting and spending time with their expanding family.
Jim remained physically and mentally active throughout his life. He enjoyed squash, tennis, running, biking, hunting, and sailing. In addition to his deep understanding of English literature, he could often be found reading “something in French,” or several other languages in which he was self-taught in order to appreciate the piece in its original form. An avid and wily card player, Jim enjoyed playing games throughout his life.
Always a southern gentleman, it was a rarity to see Jim out of khakis, a button-down, and a sweater tied over his shoulders. Despite his southern roots, Jim always had a deep appreciation for classic Midcoast cuisine. Fish chowder and a blueberry muffin from the Dolphin in Harpswell, a chili dog from Danny’s on the mall, and a chocolate ice cream from Cote’s on Maine Street were some of his staple meals. He will be remembered by loved ones for his quick-witted one liners and showstopping zingers.
Jim was known to mark special occasions with his signature poetic narratives and toasts. Jim was known for his habits and nearly ritualistic routines. Fresh ground coffee and a newspaper followed by calisthenics launched every day. Back supported by a Bowdoin pillow, Jim was then found reading in his favorite chair. After lunch, a restorative nap was essential, eyes covered with a folded handkerchief.
Jim is loved and missed by his siblings Margaret “Teen” Timberlake (Timothy) and Craighill Redwine (Helen); and children Jamie (Robin), Lisel, Stephanie, Katybel, Sarah, Nate, Hannah; and thirteen grandchildren.
Jim was predeceased by both parents; and brother, Hal “Macky” Redwine.