PORTLAND — James E. “Jim” Carson, 59, died unexpectedly in his sleep on Dec. 8, while traveling in Providence, R.I., for business.

Son of the late Richard Hart Carson and Anne (Gildart) Carson, he was born Nov. 14, 1951, in Portland, where he was raised and attended Deering High School and the University of Southern Maine.

At age 19 he was introduced to the Teamsters Union Local No. 340 while working at UPS sorting packages. Over the next 40 years he worked his way up the ranks of the labor union as a business agent, trustee, vice president, secretary – treasurer and lastly, president – a position he held for past 10 years. He believed deeply in the Teamsters’ mission.

He dedicated his professional life to improving and protecting the rights of Maine workers.  With an appetite for politics, he relished working on policy and law on behalf of the labor union and spent much of his time lobbying for Maine’s workers in Augusta. He was at his best when he was standing up for someone else.

Additionally, he served as president of the Teamsters Union Joint Council No. 10, president of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign and was an elected official of the AFL-CIO executive board.

On Nov. 21, 1970, he married Carolyn Mae, and they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last month.

He was an active member at Holy Cross Parish for many years and together with his wife founded the Marian Prayer Group at Holy Cross.

A devoted family man, he was especially proud of each of his children’s accomplishments and felt blessed to have two beautiful granddaughters.

Surviving are his wife, Carolyn Mae of South Portland; a daughter, Angelique Marie of Portsmouth, N.H., and two sons, Michael and his wife Erin of Medford, Mass., and Eric of Portland; two sisters, Karen Norcross and her husband John, and Laraine Derrig of Cumberland, and a brother, Richard Carson and wife Lisa of Portland; two grandchildren, Lily and Bridget; several nieces and nephews; and cousins.

Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17, at the Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 1024 Broadway, South Portland.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18, at Holy Cross Church, 436 Broadway, South Portland.

Online condolences may be expressed at ctcrawford.com.

Memorial donations may be made to Holy Cross Parish School, 436 Broadway, South Portland, ME, 04106,  or to the American Heart Association, 51 U.S. Route 1, Suite M, Scarborough, ME, 04074.

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