OBITUARY

James Stewart Chaplin

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Jim lived a meaningful life, always proud of being an Auburn hometown boy. A chance meeting began a love story for Jim and Diane Chaplin. They married in 1980 on a lovely summer day, one of his happiest, Jim said. He was born to Joseph and Virginia Tufts Chaplin Jr. Jim played basketball and was a lanky right handed baseball pitcher, graduating from E.L. High in 1967. He attended U of M in Orono, where he posted one of the most notable seasons in Black Bear history. Jim’s 1.02 ERA that year – a UMO record – still stands to this day. Jim graduated from UMO in 1971 with a major in political science. He continued to combine his love of baseball, with his dedication to share the sport, with young athletes. In honor of his outstanding baseball career, Jim was inducted into the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. Jim spent his entire professional life working to improve the well-being of Maine’s children. His career with the Department of Human Services spanned 27 years. Jim earned his Master’s Degree from Boston College in 1988 which allowed him to become the Director of the Division of Childcare Licensing. Upon retirement from State government, Jim worked for 7 years at the Spurwink School, coordinating accreditation and licensing. Jim also served the District Court as a guardian for children in foster care. Eleven years ago Jim received the miraculous gift of a new heart at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. With the skill and care of so many over these last 11 years, many of Jim’s dreams have been realized. Jim was a wonderful husband and father and took much pleasure enjoying his family and friends. He enjoyed music, played guitar, and loved golfing. He relished his hours of skiing, boating and fishing on the ocean and the lakes of Maine. Jim wished to be remembered most for his commitment in helping children and other vulnerable people, and for his love for family and community. Jim believed in being responsible for one’s individual actions, the importance of taking risks, and seeing the gifts of each new day. Jim Chaplin passed under the compassionate care of the Hospice House staff and in the presence of his family on Saturday May 26, 2018. “The Comeback Kid”, as he often called himself, took his final walk to the pitcher’s mound in peace and with great dignity.

  • FAMILY

  • Jim is survived by his devoted and loving wife, Diane, of Auburn; his faithful and beloved son, John, of East Boston; sisters Sarah Isaacson, Anne Chaplin Gould, his aunt Elizabeth Goodrich, all of Maine; Diane’s brother, Jay Midgette of Massachusetts, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
  • DONATIONS

  • the First Universalist Church, to benefit their humanitarian good works through The Chaplin Family Fund.

Services

  • Memorial Service Saturday, June 9, 2018
REMEMBERING

James Stewart Chaplin

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Paul GAUVREAU

June 11, 2018

It was with sadness that I learned of Jim's passing. He was truly a gracious, humble man who always placed the interests of other persons ahead of his own. His grace, humility and genuine commitment to community service will always be remembered. I went to college with Jim and then had occasion to work with him on child protection cases. His intellect, charm and athletic ability were evident to all, but this man's sense of decency and respect for the needs of others will always be remembered. In this difficult time I express my condolences to Jim's family, but also want them to know how much I respected this true gentleman.

Dennis Gervais

June 9, 2018

To the entire Chaplin family, my sincerest condolences and prayers.
I worked with "Chap" , and hung out with him in the early 70s.
He made my first gin n tonic, which I enjoyed on the porch of the family home.
Once, he conned me into putting on catchers equipment, and then proceeded to scare the daylight out of me with his fast balls.
He was a soft spoken, even keeled guy.
I'm truly sad to know he's gone.

Mollie Sandock

June 9, 2018

Jim was a “mensch,” a truly GOOD human being who would stand up and do the right thing. We will love him forever.

Peter Records

June 8, 2018

I remember playing countless hours playing wiffleball with Jimmy in the sheep field behind the barn at his house when we were children. That's where he started developing that curveball. Great times and memories. My deepest condolences.

Armand MAdore

June 8, 2018

Over 40 years ago, I was downtown Lewiston buying a second-hand refrigeratorto put in my camp. It was late at night and I had a trailer to load it on. I brought a friend to help me, but the refrigerator was an old-fashioned kind and too heavy for us to lift. Then, walking down the street was a tall, young man. When he saw us struggling, he immediately offered his help. A stranger to us, for no reason except to lend a helping hand. We thanked him before he left and asked him his name.... Jim Chaplin!

We never forgot that kindness.

Kathi Chase

June 7, 2018

Hi Diane,
I wanted to extend my sympathies to you and John with Jim’s passing.
You and Jim had an enviable union and I know how much he will be missed.
I wish I could be there to give you a hug!
Know my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
Love,
Kathi Chase
Bonita Springs, Fla

Bob Blanchette

June 7, 2018

My sincerest condolences to the Chaplin family. I shared many great times with Jim on the course (Martindale CC). Jim was in my humble opinion, a true gentleman. I will miss seeing him and sharing stories about golf and family.

Sincerely, Bob Blanchette

Esther Tucker

June 6, 2018

Dear Diane and John,

We of the First Universalist Church Unitarian Universalist of Auburn will miss greeting Jim and being greeted by Jim as had happened many times during his membership of almost 30 years. Diane, the two of you together reaching out in friendship has always been appreciated. It is always good too, John, to see you with them when you were visiting.
I will always remember Jim and his stewardship in the church serving in many ways and always with a smile on his face.

Esther Thorpe Tucker

Cindy {Davis} Chessey

June 6, 2018

My deepest sympathy to you and family Diane.I grew up in East Auburn with Jim my whole life and knew his entire family as well.He was a kind and gentle man,I spoke with him a while back when I saw him in the grocery store.We talked about our families at that time,and I especially remember him speaking about what a great son you have. I'm glad I was able to know such an unselfish soul.Sincerely, Cindy Davis Chessey




Charles Palian

June 6, 2018

Sorry to hear of his passing. I played against Jim while in high school and with him at UMO.

Biography

AUBURN – Jim Chaplin lived an exceptional life and meaningful life, always proud of being an Auburn hometown boy. A chance meeting began a love story for Jim and Diane Chaplin. They married in 1980 on a lovely summer day, one of his happiest, he said. Jim was the son of Joseph and Virginia Tufts Chaplin Jr. Jim played basketball, and was a lanky right-handed baseball pitcher, graduating from Edward Little High School in 1967. He attended UMaine Orono, where as a junior he posted one of the most notable seasons in Black Bear history. Jim’s 1.02 ERA that year – a UMO record – still stands to this day, ranked third in the nation. In his final start that year, Jim pitched a 13 inning complete game, struck out 15, and scored the winning run to clinch a tie for the Yankee Conference Championship. In 1970, Jim was selected to the All New England Cape Cod League, playing for Yarmouth. He made the All-Star team, where he earned the 2nd lowest ERA on the Cape, and played in Yankee Stadium. A member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, Jim graduated from UMaine in 1971 with a major in political science. Jim continued to combine his love of baseball with his dedication to share the sport with young athletes. He pitched and coached the Auburn ASA’s and coached the 1974 and 1975 Auburn Senior Little League teams that won consecutive New England Regional Championships. Jim believed that baseball taught him important lessons about winning and losing. He said his greatest catch came in 1984 when his big hands were the first ones to hold his only son, John. Jim also coached teams at the Auburn Rec, and Suburban Little League throughout John’s childhood. In honor of his outstanding baseball career, Jim was inducted into the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
Jim spent his entire professional life working to improve the health, well-being and safety of Maine’s children. His career with the Department of Health and Human Services spanned 27 years. Earning his Master’s degree from Boston College in 1988 allowed him to become the Director of the Division of Childcare Licensing. Upon retirement from State government, Jim worked for the Spurwink School coordinating accreditation and licensing for 7 years. Jim also served the District Court as a guardian ad litem for children in foster care. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Jim received the miraculous gift of a new heart. With the skill and care of so many over these last 11 years, a countless number of Jim’s dreams have been realized. His respect for and gratitude to all brave organ donor families is shared by those who love him.
Jim was a wonderful husband, the best father, a great listener, and took such pleasure enjoying his family and friends. He loved music, played guitar, and golf. Jim’s membership at Martindale Country Club allowed for continued sportsmanship and comradery, always wanting to be part of a team. He relished his hours of skiing, boating and fishing on the ocean and the lakes of his forever home, Maine.
The Chaplin family are members of the First Universalist Church (Unitarian Universalist). Jim assumed many leadership roles, including board president and stewardship campaign co-chair. In 2013, Jim and Diane were honored by the congregation with the Rose Window Award for their dedicated service over many decades.
Jim’s personal reflections in recent years reveal his wish to be remembered most for his commitment to helping children and other vulnerable people, and for his love for his family and community. A man of high ideals, he recognized that growth and change require hard work, determination, and perseverance. Jim believed in being responsible for one’s individual actions, the importance of taking risks, and seeing the gifts of each new day.
Jim leaves a remarkable legacy and will remain remembered and held in great love by his wide circle of friends and the family that he so treasured. “The Comeback Kid”, as he often called himself, took his final walk to the pitcher’s mound in peace and with great dignity. He passed under the compassionate, professional care of hospice house staff and in the presence of his family.
Jim is survived by his devoted and loving wife, Diane, of Auburn; his faithful and beloved son, John, of East Boston; sisters Sarah Isaacson, Anne Chaplin Gould, his aunt Elizabeth Goodrich, all of Maine; Diane’s brother, Jay Midgette of Massachusetts, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
You are invited to offer your condolences and share fond memories with Jim's family by visiting his guestbook at www.thefortingroupauburn.com


A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 9th at 11:00 AM at First Universalist Church, 169 Pleasant St., Auburn, Me. 04210. Jim requested in lieu of flowers that those wishing to honor his memory can do so with charitable contributions to The First Universalist Church, to benefit their humanitarian good works through The Chaplin Family Fund. A Service of The Fortin Group/Plummer Merrill Funeral Home, Cremation and Monument Services, 217 Turner St., Auburn, Maine 04210. 207-783-8545