Dr. James M. Carifio, 75, of Watertown and formerly of Bradford, passed away on Friday Dec. 29 at the Elizabeth Evarts de Rham Hospice Home in Cambridge.
Carifio was born on Sept. 16, 1942 and was the son of the Luigi J “Geno” Carifio and Margaret M. (Coakley) Carifio of Bradford. Raised in Bradford, he graduated from Haverhill High School in 1960 where he was a standout athlete in football, basketball and baseball. He was also a graduate of New Hampton Prep School in 1961 and Columbia University in 1965, where he played football for the Columbia Lions.
He studied abroad for two years at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland with a focus on 18th century Scottish literature.
He had a long and varied career in academia both in administration and teaching. Upon returning from Scotland, he taught at a new, innovative high school in Bath, Maine, the Hyde School. He then enrolled at Boston University and earned his Masters and Doctorate in Education. While in school, he worked at the Board of Higher Education and later the Board of Regents, playing a critical role in the management of the Massachusetts community college system. He then re-entered teaching first at Bridgewater State and then at UMass Lowell, where he spent over 25 years as a tenured professor in the School of Education. Carifio published many peer-reviewed and highly regarded academic papers, presented at numerous academic conferences. He also wrote wrote several books on his own and with colleagues.
Carifio loved baseball, the beach and spending time with his grandchildren. He was a great storyteller with an infectious laugh that made you believe anything was possible. The stories of the “good Jimmy” will live on for lifetimes to come.
He is survived by his two daughters Beth Green and her husband Denis of Belmont, Mass. and Elly West and her husband Tomm of Asheville, N.C., two brothers George M. Carifio and his significant other Deb Feudo of Haverhill and Michael G. Carifio and his wife Melissa of Scarborough, Maine, two sisters Jean A. Comeau and her husband Raymond of Belmont, and Margaret (Peggy) T. Sawe and her husband Ashok of Anna Maria Island Fla. He also will be missed by four grandchildren Andrew, Lila, Sammy and Fiona, first wife Sue (Hilton) Carifio of Belmont, his partner Lisa Erikson of Watertown, as well as several nieces and nephews and many kind and devoted cousins, former in-laws and lifelong friends.
His family would like to thank the staff at the Elizabeth Evarts de Rham Hospice Home for the care and compassion they showed Carifio while he was in their care.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his calling hours on Wednesday, Jan 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the H.L. Farmer and Sons Bradford Funeral Home, 210 South Main St. (Rt. 125) Bradford. His Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Thursday, Jan. 4 at 11 a.m. at Sacred Hearts Church 165 South Main St. (Rte. 125), Bradford. Burial will follow at the Elmwood Cemetery, Salem St., Bradford. Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, 30 Speen St. Framingham, Mass, 01701 or Elizabeth Evarts de Rham Hospice Home via vnacarenetwork.ejoinme.org/VNACare