James R. Saunders

Thu, 02/08/2024 - 6:00pm

James R. Saunders, 96, of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, passed away peacefully on Feb. 6, 2024 at St. Andrews Village in Boothbay Harbor.

James was born in Staten Island, New York on Dec. 9, 1927 to parents Edmund Saunders and Amy (Merrick) Kuhn.

Shortly after his birth, Jim and his family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, his true hometown. He grew up there and graduated from a local high school. Jim then went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University, and eventually received his master’s degree.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Jim worked for Formica as a chemical engineer. Throughout his life, he carried his engineering skills and his sense of humor through many workplaces. He eventually retired from his position as director of the Lewiston Auburn Chamber of Commerce.

Jim had been an ardent supporter of community activities all his life from Eagle Scout Days to present.

During his years in the Lewiston/Auburn area while employed as director of the Lewiston/Auburn Chamber of Commerce, he actively served on many boards including the Androscoggin Bank, CMGH, and Bates Manufacturing. He served as chairman of the United Way Campaign in 1977-78. He was a consultant for a state committee helping small businesses cope with problems. He especially enjoyed his participation in the Shrine and Kora Temple as well as the Rotary Club.

After moving to South Carolina in 2003, he continued being active in the community by joining the Hilton Head Rotary Club, volunteering once a week at the Hilton Head Hospital in the Post Op section and with a men’s group picking up trash along the highway on Saturday mornings.

At the age of 88 and having moved to Sun City Center, Florida, he continued to find ways to help the community. The Security Patrol kept volunteer drivers combing the streets and he was one of those. His Presbyterian Church worked with the Meals on Wheels Program for the month of September. Jim oversaw organizing and watching over the distribution of 40 meals each day of the month.

Jim met Diane (Dorr) Campbell at the mailbox in South Carolina. They married and were together for 19 years.

In his free time, James enjoyed  playing six-wicket croquet and played golf on many courses in Maine and Hilton Head. He was proud of his woodworking tools and his vegetable gardens.  He especially enjoyed hosting events at his lake house in Windham, Maine. With his wife, Lora, he established an education fund for pharmacists at Northeastern University in his sons’ names.

Jim was predeceased by his parents Amy Kuhn and Edmund Saunders; his first wife of 44 years Lora Saunders; sons John and David Saunders; stepdaughter Kathy Campbell Reed; brothers Harold and Jon Saunders; and nephews Ken and Alan Saunders

He is survived by his wife, Diane Campbell Saunders; stepson Bill Campbell (Kelly); daughters-in-law Louise Woods (Edwin) and Laura Shafer (Geary); nephew Jim Saunders (Rebecca); nieces Pam Batten, Susan Eagle, and Peggy Thiel; grandchildren Sara Saunders Lineberger, Bradley Saunders, and Shelby and Cathleen Shafer; stepgrandchildren Kimberly Nutt, Rosaline, Robert, Grace, and Kate Campbell; and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 9, 11 a.m., at the Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Jim’s memory to St. Andrews Village Contribution Fund, Attn: Business Office, 145 Emery Lane, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538.

Halls of Boothbay has care of the arrangements. To offer online condolences, or to share a story or photo, visit James’s Book of Memories at