James W. Stackpole ’50

James W. Stackpole ’50 died on November 2, 2017, in Shelburne, Vermont.

(The following was published in The Burlington Free Press on November 8, 2017):


On All Souls Day, James Ward Stackpole, MD, beloved husband, father, grandfather and physician, passed away, with family and friends surrounding him. Jim was born on February 28, 1928 in Saco, Maine, and was a graduate of Thornton Academy and Bowdoin College. During the Korean War, he served in the Army at Percy Jones Military Hospital. Upon his discharge from the service, he attended the University of Vermont Medical School, graduating in 1956. While at UVM, he met the love of his life, Janet Kerin. They wed in 1956. After completing internships and residencies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Montreal Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital and UVM, Jim entered private practice in Burlington. He, along with Dr. Stokes Gentry, Dr. Richard Narkewicz, and Dr. Jack Murray, founded Pediatric Associates, which grew into a thriving and well respected practice now known as Timberlane Pediatrics.

Jim practiced medicine for over 50 years. He was a gifted physician, a great colleague and a wonderful mentor to the many medical students who rotated through his office. His calm demeanor and common sense approach to medicine were reassuring to many a fretful parent. Jim served as the President of the Vermont Medical Society and as a Vermont State Delegate to the American Medical Association. He was a member and President of the Chittenden County Medical Society, the Irish and American Pediatric Society, and he was a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. For more than 30 years, he proudly served as a faculty member for the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, retiring as a full clinical professor. Jim was a member and past President of the Ethan Allen Club, and was a long time member of the Burlington Country Club. Jim was active in the Army Reserves, and was called up during Desert Storm. He was proud to serve and enjoyed traveling the world as an Army doctor.

During his career, Jim received many awards and accolades, including: Vermont School Nurses Association Recognition Award (for 30 years of support of school nurses), the A.H. Robbins Community Service Award, and an “Outstanding Father” Award from the Lund Family Center. In his spare time, Jim taught Sunday school at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; joyfully served as the team “Doc” for the Rice Boys Hockey Team; made exquisite dollhouses for various charities; and made rum cakes by the dozens at Christmas time. He enjoyed spending time with his family and was often found at the piano, or heard playing the clarinet (which he took up in his 60s). He ventured to Maine each year, for decades, to fish, tell tall tales, and laugh hard with family and friends. In later years, Jim explored his artistic side and started taking art classes with the Sisters of Mercy. He loved painting, and learning new things. He and Janet travelled the world together and enjoyed experiencing new cultures. They even traveled to China, lending support and medical care to families adopting children.

Jim’s greatest gifts were his kindness, his patience, and his good humor. There was an ever present twinkle in his eye, which will be sorely missed. Jim is survived by Janet, his wife of more than 60 years; his children, Michael, Patrick and Kerin; his daughters in law, Joy Stackpole and Maria McGrath; and his lovely granddaughters, Faith Stackpole and Clare Stackpole-McGrath. He is also survived by his brother, David Stackpole; his sister in law, Betty Bouchard; and many Stackpole and Bouchard cousins. Jim was blessed with amazing care and kindness offered by caregivers from the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties, and from Home Instead Senior Care.

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