James Michael Hurley of Easthampton passed away at his home on West Street, January 22, 2021 at the age of 75. A lifelong resident of the area, Jim was known to be a devoted, compassionate, and loving father to his son, James Michael Hurley II. He was preceded in death by his parents Lester and Sophie (Chlosta) Hurley and his brother Robert Hurley.
Jim’s love of the written word was with him throughout his life. His achievements include his first book, Spirit of the Sycamore, a historical novel set in Revolutionary Vermont. His second, The Contest, was said by one reviewer “a soul-searching tale in the tradition of A River Runs Through It and The River Why”. His articles, essays and sketches have appeared in sporting publications in New England and New York as well as several national magazines.
Jim’s talents were apparent from an early age. At 14 he was already an accomplished mandolinist and a member of the American Guild of Music and The Fretted Instrument Guild of America for whom he was a guest soloist on many occasions. As a professional musician, Jim opened the James Hurley Music Studio in Northampton where he played and taught guitar and other fretted instruments for 37 years. He taught both privately and at the Williston Academy in Easthampton.
Jim cherished the time he spent fly fishing with his son as well as private times in Vermont along the Batten Kill River and rivers in the Northeast Kingdom. A self-taught artist, Jim combined his passion for fly fishing into a series of watercolor paintings titled “Trout with Flies” which now appear in galleries and silkscreened on a line of clothing.
Jim was an angler, author, writer, painter, musician, historian, philosopher, loving partner, and friend. He was loved by all who knew him. He will be deeply missed.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Jim’s name to the Batten Kill Watershed Alliance, P.O. Box 734, Arlington, VT 05250. A gathering of friends will be scheduled at a later date.
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