James J. Cormier, 96, of Haverhill, died Tuesday, Jan. 10, at Holy Family Hospital, Haverhill, following a brief illness.
Born in Lowell, son of the late Francis and Evangeline (Boudreau) Cormier, he moved to Haverhill as a child and attended Saint Joseph Grammar School. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II as a private first class in the 2071st Quartermaster Corps. He was a recipient of the Good Conduct Medal, The Distinguished Unit Badge and the Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon with two service stars. While stationed in Australia, he met and married his wife of 70 years, Olive Maker.
After his discharge from the service, he returned to Queensland, Australia, and managed a racing stable for jockeys and trainers and also found employment as an insurance salesman. He returned with his family to the United States in 1953, and established Kentucky Farm in Haverhill where he raised and trained thoroughbred horses he raced at Rockingham Park, Salem, N.H. He also was a sales representative and district manager for Boston Mutual Co. and later was employed by Prudential Insurance Co. Following his retirement he worked for an additional 35 years at Demoulas Market Basket until a year ago. A member of All Saints Parish and the former Saint Joseph Parish, he was also a member of the National Association of the Disabled American Veterans and the Hannah Duston Chapter.
He was predeceased by his wife Olive (Maker) Cormier, and leaves his sons and daughters-in-law James J. and Anne Cormier of Shaftsbury, Vt. Dr. Robert T and Patricia Cormier of Duluth, Minn., and Andre P. Cormier of Haverhill; brother Frank Cormier of Haverhill; six, grandchildren, Jake, Sarah, Katherine, Jesse, Nate and Maria; 14 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his funeral service with military honors Friday, Jan. 13, at 1 p.m., at the State Veterans Cemetery, Winchendon. Donations may be made to All Saints Parish, 120 Bellevue Ave., Haverhill. Arrangements are under the direction of Berube-Comeau Funeral Home, 47 Broadway, Haverhill.