Jeffrey VanCura cherished his family, and it showed in his quiet ways and the lessons he passed on, said his son, Joshua.

Mr. VanCura died Thursday at Mercy Hospital in Portland. He was 61.

Mr. VanCura and his wife, Holly, met in Portland and married 33 years ago before settling in Gorham.

Family trips to visit relatives in California are among the fondest memories for his son. It was there that Joshua VanCura saw his father’s past come to life.

A native of New Mexico, Mr. VanCura was proud of his home state, and through that love he taught his children much, his son said.

“I really remember him describing what it was like to grow up in the Southwest. We have different turquoise jewelry that he always had. They’re family heirlooms,” his son said.

“Him being from there, I think, helped me get a better idea of what it was like growing up there. It definitely broadened my horizons,” he said.

Mr. VanCura was a title abstractor for several law firms in Portland, and was well known as an expert among his peers. In his free time, he was an avid fan of professional sports.

A lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, Mr. VanCura enjoyed teaching his son to play baseball, and watching his games when he played at Gorham High School.

When Joshua VanCura decided to stop playing after his sophomore year, his father accepted and supported his son’s decision, he said.

“Whether he was showing me how to break in a new baseball glove or teaching me how to bunt the baseball, those and other memories I treasure,” said Joshua VanCura, who lives in Boston.

“His first baseball team was the Chicago Cubs,” his son said. “I remember in (1984), when the Cubs finally made it to the playoffs after so many years, he plotted his vacation in case they went to the World Series, just in case. And of course they didn’t.”

Holly VanCura said she and her husband, their son and daughter, Erin Belanger of Manchester, N.H., enjoyed the simplest of pleasures as a family, such as camping, sitting around the campfire, or visiting each other in more recent years.

“He loved his (grandchildren). He was very proud of his grandson, Joey. We saw him every month,” she said of their grandchild, Joseph Belanger.

 

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at: [email protected]