James L. Tabor, 93

PORTLAND — James LeForest Tabor, 93, passed away peacefully at The Cedars in Portland on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.

The son of Ralph Sanborn Tabor and Ouillma Davidson Tabor, James LeForest Tabor was born in Niagara Falls, N.Y on Oct. 15, 1919. He had three sisters, Helen T. Bement, born in 1915; Dorothy T. Merrill, born in 1918; and Virginia T. Daniels, born in 1926.

He grew up in Lewiston Heights, a suburb of Niagara Falls and graduated from the Niagara Falls High School in 1937. He then enrolled in the Wharton School of Finance & Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania. Graduating in June 1941 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics, Jim accepted a position with the Charles P. Cochrane Co., a manufacturer of rugs and carpets in Bridgeport, Penn. The week after completion of the company’s sales and orientation/training program, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States declared war.

In January, he enlisted in the Army and was assigned to Fort Niagara for induction. Subsequently, Private Tabor was sent to the Army's finance school for basic training at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana. His next assignment was in San Francisco. During his three-month tour of duty as a clerk in the Army’s area finance office, he was stationed on picturesque Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. From there, it was back East to Aberdeen Proving Ground and the Ordinance Officer’s Training School.

After receiving his second lieutenant commission, he was assigned to the 617th Ordinance Ammunition Company at Fort Hood, Texas. Then, it was on to Camp Stoneman in California, a staging area for overseas duty. Tabor spent 26 months in the South Pacific and Japan. Before returning to the States in December of 1945, he was promoted to company commander with the rank of captain and had assignments in Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines and Japan. His last overseas job was as a liaison officer with Far East Air Force in Tokyo.

Upon discharge from the service in March 1946, he joined the Richard A. Foley Advertising Agency in Philadelphia. He was an account executive and became the organization’s radio and television director. He was a founder and the first president of The Radio & Television Association of Philadelphia.

Moving to Portland in November of 1950, he joined Simonds, Payson Advertising as an account executive, a position he held until 1956 when he resigned to become assistant to the president of Oakhurst Dairy in Portland. He retired in June 1981 as vice president of Sales & Marketing and a director of the company.

During his business career, Jim was a trustee of Mercy Hospital, Westbrook College, The Maine Audubon Society and a director of the Maine Bonding and Casualty Co., Sun Savings & Loan Association, Northeast Hearing & Speech Center, Portland Boys and Girls Club, the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce and the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension Service. He was also a member of the South Portland Library Construction Committee.

In 1968, he served as chairman of the Greater Portland United Way Campaign. He was also a member of the board of directors of United Community Services.

In October of 1951, he married Rachel Andrew. They had three children, Andrew Davidson, who was born in 1956, Gretchen in 1960 and Thomas Sanborn in 1961.

From 1953 to retirement, the Tabors made their home in South Portland, and built the family cottage on Keoka Lake in Waterford in 1966. They moved to Naples in 1983, where they bought and renovated an 1830 farmhouse that they had admired for years as they passed it while traveling to and from Waterford.

Jim enjoyed gardening, hiking and canoeing. He was active in environmental causes and was a founding member of the Keoka Lake Association in 1971. He was an ardent beekeeper and wrote a regular column on the subject for The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Also, from time to time he wrote articles for the American Bee Journal and Bee Culture magazine.

After relocating to Naples, he became active in the town’s Conservation Commission and was a director of the Lakes Environmental Association and the Loon Echo Land Trust, and chairman of the Trust’s successful campaign to raise funds for the purchase of the Bald Pate Mountain Preserve. For many years, he and his wife delivered “meals on wheels” in the Casco, Raymond and Naples area.

Jim and Rachel made their final home together in the Applegate community in Falmouth, starting in the year 2000, and later resided at The Cedars in Portland starting in 2010.

Jim is survived by his wife Rachel; his sisters Dorothy Merrill of Yarmouth and Virginia Daniels of Lynnfield, Mass.; son Andrew of Cape Elizabeth and grandson; daughter Gretchen Heath of Chamblee, Ga., and two granddaughters; and son, Thomas of Surry.

Family and friends are invited to a memorial service at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013 at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland.

Memorial gifts may be sent to: The Loon Echo Land Trust, 1 Chase Street, Bridgton, ME 04009.

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