James W. Fairbanks ’56

James Wilson Fairbanks, 82 of Saco, Maine, formerly of Old Orchard Beach, Maine died Sunday, August 28, 2016, in Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine.

He was born in Queens, New York, December 18, 1933, a son of Ernest Emerson and Jane Belle Haverty Fairbanks.

Shortly after Jim’s birth the family moved to various cities settling in  Alabama until Jim was 12 years old when they moved and settled in Old Orchard Beach.

“Jimmy” as he was known growing up in Old Orchard Beach, was educated in the Old Orchard Beach School system where he graduated Old Orchard Beach High School in 1952.  While in high school, he participated in Football. He was Captain of the team his senior year.  He also was a member of the basketball and baseball team. During the summer months Jim was employed, by concessionaire, Moe Kane, running various games in the Palace Playland working 7 days a week and 12 hours a day for minimal compensation.

He continued in formal education at Maine Maritime Academy where he received his degree in Maritime Engineering  and Commissioned as a Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG).

Jim served his country in the U S Navy from 1957 to 1960.  Following his Military Service he spent the remainder of his Maritime Career as an Engineer in the Merchant Marines.  He retired in 1971 as a Chief Engineer serving on several ships and traveling around the world.

On September 2, 1967, He married Dorothy Irene Tousignant in St Margaret’s Church in Old Orchard Beach.  Following his retirement, he started a second career with his wife and children Jocelyn and Jeffrey by establishing the SKYLARK MOTEL in Old Orchard Beach.  They retired in 1995.  Their retirement years were winters spent in Arizona and Florida.  The summer months were spent in Maine.

When the children were growing up, winter vacations and sports were their enjoyment since the summer months were dedicated to the operation of the motel.  They enjoyed Snowmobiling in Maine and Canada, Disney World and a “Busman’s Holiday” for Jimmy, on various Ocean Cruise Liners as a family.

Jim was an adventurous person  and a computer Guru.  He learned and selftaught himself computer knowledge when he purchased his first computer in 1982.  He bought the machine, brought it home and had to find out from the store how to turn it on and the rest is history.  If anyone, family, friend or acquaintance, needed help on a computer problem Jim was the go to person.  If he did not have the answer he would research it until he did.

 He was a Life Member of the Biddeford-Saco Lodge of Elks and a former member of the Maritime Union.

Survivors include his beloved wife, Dorothy of Saco; Jocelyn  Fairbanks Battige and her husband Ken, Colonie, New York; Jeffrey James Fairbanks and his wife, Barbara, Old Orchard Beach;   a brother, John Warren Fairbanks, Rockville, Maryland; 3 grandchildren,  Brooke, Sam and Luke Battige; several nieces  and nephews.