James Brooks Richardson

SOUTH PORTLAND – We knew that James Brooks Richardson, 54, entered Heaven on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, when an orange rainbow, a sign of joy, hope, and strength, appeared over the house where his family was grieving.James was born on July 3, 1965, to Harrison Richardson and Elsa Chapin in Portland. He grew up on their farm in Cumberland where he participated in the 4-H Club and enjoyed raising his show cow, Eleanor, the two of them participating in several local fairs around the state. James attended Brooks Coeducational Boarding School, in North Andover, Mass., and Colby College in Waterville, where he earned a degree in history.After graduating from college, James took some time to explore one of his lifelong passions, sailing, working in the Caribbean as an instructor for a year, before settling into a 32 year career at Bath Iron Works, where he worked as the Director of Planning.James married young and was always a family man. He treated his first wife’s sons as his own and together they had one biological son, Oliver James Richardson.After his first marriage ended, James swept his future wife, Sara Goodine, off her feet when she was his stepmother’s nurse. A go-getter who put his all into everything he did, he started working out with weights and running, eventually running six marathons, to get into shape to win her over. There was a 13-year age difference and he wanted to be the Prince Charming in her fairy tale. He flew himself or Sara back and forth every other weekend from Mobile, Ala. to Maine, sometimes to New Orleans, during their whirlwind courtship. They were married for 12 years, and had two beautiful daughters, Hazel, 10, and Violet, 8. They had a wonderful life together whether at their home by the beach in South Portland, at his wife’s family camp in Raymond, or their family farm, also in Raymond.James loved hard work, whether physical or mental, and took over all the duties no one else wanted to do. Mowing, raking, putting the dock in in the spring and taking it out in the fall. He became not just the rock to his wife and girls, but to their entire extended family as well. His charm, warm personality, and ability to make you feel like the most important person in the room made people gravitate to him. He was also a natural teacher, his quiet competence giving others the courage to take risks.The perfect mix of boarding school preppy and hometown redneck, James enjoyed pig calls, small town fairs, winter bonfires, polar dips, Dungeons and Dragons, cribbage, Scrabble and sailing. Always sailing.James and Sara had recently purchased a 48-foot, three-bedroom sailboat and begun a YouTube channel to document their family adventure: taking their little foursome and traveling the world for at least two years. They had just moved aboard their boat when James died unexpectedly after a brief illness, and that dream was not fulfilled. James’ family will always remember him as joyful, kind, and strong. We will strive to be more like him every day as we sail into uncharted waters without our anchor.James will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Sara; and daughters, Hazel and Violet, all of South Portland, a son, Oliver Richardson and his partner, Siera Boucher, of Readfield; stepsons, Christopher Graff, of Thailand, and Alex Graff, of Chicago; a brother, Harrison Richardson III, and his wife, Becky, of Portland and Florida; parents-in-law, Richard and Irene Goodine, of South Portland; sisters-in-law Jennifer Goodine, of Cape Elizabeth, Elizabeth Goodine, of South Portland, brother-in-law, Daryl Goodine, of Florida; niece, Madison Duong, of Cape Elizabeth, and nephew, Sam Doane of South Portland.He was predeceased by his father, Harrison L. Richardson Jr., mother, Elsa (Chapin) Richardson; stepmother, Cate Richardson; and sister, Janet Chapin Richardson.A private service will be held. Burial will be at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in South Portland. Arrangements entrusted to Hobbs Funeral Home, South Portland. Online condolences may be expressed at http://www.hobbsfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hazel and Violet’s college fund http://gf.me/u/ycvhdt.

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