James Alfred Labrie
July 26, 1935-April 30, 2016
James Alfred Labrie of Rye, NH died on April 30, 2016 at Portsmouth Regional Hospital surrounded by his friends and family. James “Jim” was born in Concord, NH July 26, 1935 to Alfred and Rose (Cushing) Labrie. He grew up in Portsmouth, NH and graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1953 and St. Anselm College in 1958 with a B.A. in Business. He is survived by his wife Ellen M. (Knight); brother Raymond; sister Christie; son Michael and wife Susan, daughter Anne Labrie, daughter Mary and husband Matthew St. Pierre, son Peter and wife Maria; and his thirteen grandchildren: Stephen, Micheline, Jimmy, Madison, Alex, Mark, Cassidy, Katie, Ashe, Mia, Amelia, Sarah, and Ella. Jim is predeceased by his eldest son James Jr.
Jim and Ellen were married on May 14, 1960. Together, they raised five children: James, Michael, Anne, Mary, and Peter. The young family frequently relocated between New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts once Jim became Merchandise Manager at Diamond International in 1961. To his grandchildren, Jim was known as “Papa”. Jim deeply loved and admired his children and grandchildren. This profound love is cherished by those blessed to receive it. He knew the importance of education and ensured that his grandchildren approached their schooling with a sense of purpose and responsibility.
In 1979, Jim founded Forum Development with business partner Anders Albertson. Jim was a successful businessman who dealt in honesty, fairness and integrity. He was dedicated to his pursuits as a real estate developer and stock market investor. This enthusiasm for business meant that he never fully retired, and endeavoured to spread his vast knowledge to a perpetually present and eager audience.
Jim earned his pilots license in 1987. He shared his joy for flying with his son Peter, who later became a pilot himself. For at least a decade, Jim flew down the Eastern Seaboard in his 1986 Cessna 182 to his Miami Beach winter home with his wife Ellen sitting co-pilot. While on the ground, Jim was an avid collector; each collection defining an era of his personal history. Some collections dissolved to accommodate new symbols of personal and spiritual growth. Pieces of each collection were proudly displayed in his Rye, NH home. Upon visiting Grammie and Papa’s house, young grandchildren delighted in exploring Papa’s self-curated museum.  Curious minds would point to a jar of clay marbles or scrimshaw whale tooth and posit, “What’s that?”
Jim was an inspiration to his ever growing circle of friends and family. He practiced generosity and gratitude, and encouraged those traits in his children and grandchildren. Jim formed personal and lasting connections with those in his life. An integral member of his community, Jim supported numerous organizations and charities. He was an active member of the Portsmouth Rotary Club for 30 years serving as past President (’85-86), District Governor of Rotary District 779 ('89-90), Director, and Directory Emeritus. As Rotarians, Jim and Ellen worked tirelessly to further Rotary’s humanity efforts, in particular, the initiative to eradicate polio in under served nations. Jim served on multiple boards, which include: Seacoast Board of Realtors, Portsmouth Crime Line, Portsmouth Music Hall, and Greater Piscataqua Community Foundation. Jim and Ellen were knighted into the Order of St. John Jerusalem where Jim served as the Second Vice Commodore. In addition, he was a member of the Mechanics Fire Society and Warwick Club of Portsmouth; Proprietor of the Portsmouth Athenaeum; and past Commodore of the Portsmouth Yacht Club.
Together, Jim and Ellen dedicated a considerable amount of time as members of Unity on the Bay in Miami, FL and Unity on the River in Amesbury, MA. In 1995, he joined the board of Unity Worldwide Ministry in Missouri. Jim gave without hesitation or expectation of reciprocation. Those closest to him may never know the extent of his generosity. Even so, it is clear to all of us, that we lost a man, husband, Dad, Papa, and friend that can never be replaced. Jim will be greatly missed.  His friends and family are forever changed by his love and compassion. We couldn't’t be more proud of the legacy Jim has left behind.
Calling hours will be held on Monday May 9th from 4:00pm-7:00pm and services will be held Tuesday May 10th at 10:30 am both located at St James Church.  A Celebration of Jim's Life will be held at Atlantic Grill immediately following services on Tuesday. 
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent in the name of James A. Labrie Sr/ James A. Labrie Jr Memorial Fund c/o Portsmouth Rotary Club, PO Box 905, Portsmouth, NH 03802