Milestones, Obituaries

JAMES STANLEY MOFFATT

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James Stanley Moffatt

CRAFTSBURY – James (Jim, Jimmy) Stanley Moffatt, 86, of Craftsbury, died on April 13.  He made the choice to leave this world on his own terms and his family, although shocked by the sudden loss, understands why he did so. We are sure that he has found peace and are glad that his physical suffering has ended. Jim, however, was much more than this last act.  

Jim was born in his family home on July 14, 1937, to Robert (Bob) and Eila Moffatt. He graduated from Craftsbury Academy in 1955 and stayed in town to help his parents run their dairy farm, which they established after Bob became sick with silicosis following his work in the Barre granite sheds.

Jim met his wife, Joan, in high school and they married in 1964, the beginning of a loving relationship that carried them through the highs and lows of life and farming. Their son Steve was born in 1967 and the family lived on the farm in Craftsbury, carrying on the dairy farming operation.

In the late ’60s, Jim and Joan sold their cows and expanded the farm’s Christmas tree and maple production, operating a substantial sugaring business for many years during which Jim was also a buyer for Butternut Mountain Farm.

As the trees grew, Jim and Joan gave up large-scale sugaring and Steve returned to focus on further expansion of the farm, slowly growing it to what it is today. Jim never truly retired, finding meaning and satisfaction in working hard and well.  He very much enjoyed running the choose-and-cut part of Moffatt’s Tree Farm, talking with returning customers and meeting new ones.

Joan died in 2007 of leukemia and in the years that followed Jim met Carol Maroni, with whom he traveled often. Carol provided companionship and care, especially as his health failed in the last couple of years. 

Jim was very active in and dedicated to his community, serving in elected or appointed positions since 1964, including on the Craftsbury Academy School Board, select board, planning commission and Municipal Forest Committee, acting as the chair of the latter for many years.

In written notes about what he wanted to include in his obituary Jim stated “Good forestry has been my life and my forests are my legacy.” He managed his land with care and commitment, always thinking about the long term consequences of his choices.

In addition to being a steward of the land and an active community member, Jim was a lifelong learner.  He was often reading multiple books at a time, with a particular interest in historical and environmental subjects. Jim was also an accomplished skeet shooter and belonged to the Lamoille Valley Fish & Game Club and the Underhill Rod & Gun Club, where he made many good friends.

Jim wanted to note that he was very proud of Steve, daughter-in-law Sharon and his grandsons Aidan and Gibson, all of whom strive to carry forth his dedication to being helpful and productive members of society. 

Jim was predeceased by his wife Joan, brother Larry, and sister Ginny. He is survived by his son Steve and his wife, Sharon, of Craftsbury; his grandson Aidan (Sydney) of Craftsbury; Gibson of Eugene, Oregon; companion Carol Maroni of Craftsbury; brother Andrew and wife Eve, of Craftsbury.

Jim had many nephews and nieces who were special to him, including Audri Miller (Steve), Jesse Moffatt (Dianne), Cheryl Whitaker (Ed), Michael, Dean Moffatt (Tunde), Carolyn Englert, and Jim Zahner (Darryll). He had so many close friends and enjoyed his regular contact with them. 

We are planning to publicly remember Jim with an informal gathering in the summer months, details still to be determined. We will post information on the Moffatt’s Tree Farm Facebook page, which can be accessed without having an account, or on our website moffattstreefarm.com. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Jim’s name to the Town of Craftsbury, allocated to the Craftsbury Academy Woodlot.

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