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James Brines

James Brines

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

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Obituary

Obituary for James "Jim" Brines

A wonderful father, brother, friend, and scholar; a well-spoken, well-read educator; a nocturnal adventurer; a world traveler and all around worldly gentleman who had a deep appreciation for penguins, sunsets, and all of nature; a strongly opinionated politico; an avid sports fan (of Boston teams, especially); a superior skier; and an US Army veteran who hasn’t heard Reveille since his last day of service, our beloved James “Jim” McClure Brines of Providence and formerly of Taunton and Andover, MA, passed away on July 3, 2020 at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. He was 77.

Jim’s uniqueness is best described by fellow author, Wm. Shakespeare: “He was a great human being and we’ll not see the likes of him again!” He was the loyal and loving father of Anna Brines (Jeff Dudas) of Sarasota, FL, and Zachary Brines (Jessica Urick), and a cherished grandfather to Nicholas Brines, all of Providence. He was the former husband of Constance Bidwell Brines, now living in Colorado.

Born in Pittsfield, MA, on July 22, 1942 to William Stewart and Virginia Jean (McClure) Brines, he enjoyed childhood in Wellesley and Andover, MA, together with his sister Kincaid, and brother, Duncan. As the eldest of the three, Jim paved the way for his siblings in all areas and adolescent testing grounds such as music choices, politics, social mores, hairstyles, etc., and would always take the lead in defending his positions which were often contrary to parental preference.
Following graduation from Wellesley High School, Class of 1960, he earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English from Brown University in 1965, and later Masters of Arts degrees from Northeastern and Syracuse Universities.

First meeting at the Brown Quad, fraternity brothers Frank Antifonario and Conrad “Chip” Cutcliffe remember him as a bright, witty, out-of-the-box thinker who was an avid music lover, a fan of Jack Kerouac, and member of the ski team. Their life-long friendship began with their association in the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (the “Dekes”) whose reputation for being very social, diverse, and sometimes at odds with the administration was legendary. Their motto was “friends from the heart together” which was prophetic in the case of this trio who did their part to fuel the iconoclastic bent of their fraternal group.

Professor Brines taught English, Literature, and Communications at the Community College of Rhode Island, formerly RI Junior College, for many years until retiring. During his professional career, Jim also served on the Taunton School Committee and in the vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Taunton.

Prior to all of that, Jim taught high school English-as-a-second-language in Germany. Following his time in Germany, he embarked on a motorcycle tour of Europe, stopping to appreciate art, history, flora, fauna, and spirits. This experience likely fueled his life-long passion for world travel and appreciation for art, architecture, diverse peoples and cultures, and his desire to take copious photographs and purchase souvenirs at every stop. A beer and whiskey connoisseur, Jim’s glass, literally and figuratively, was always half full, and his family and friends look forward to raising their glasses to toast Jim on a life well lived as soon as can be safely done.

Both Anna and Zack note that their Dad was very much his own person, famously stubborn , and set in his ways. He was a self-avowed “Boston Driver”, but displayed uncharacteristic patience in the countless hours he took to teach his anxiety-prone daughter to drive a car (with a standard transmission, no less). His knowledge and love of music (except Country) was matched only by that of his musician son, at whose performances Jim was a constant presence. Family members recall that Jim was ‘way cooler’ than most other parents and that he a great sense of humor. Although his approach to parenting could have been considered “hands-off” to some, he was very involved in his children’s education and strongly believed in the importance of learning. He loved the beauty and endurance of the beach and the ocean, especially at sunset, and, of course, his family most of all.

In addition to his children and their mother, grandon, siblings, and dear friends, Jim is survived by several nieces, nephews, cousins, colleagues, and former students. A celebration of Jim’s life is being planned for a future date at a favorite spot in Providence.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Berarducci Funeral Home & Cremation Care Center in Providence.

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