James Brine

Obituary of James Brine

James W. Brine, Jr., former owner of Brine Sporting Goods and a father of 10, passed away after an extended illness on Saturday morning, May 19, 2018. He was 79 years old.

Jim was born in Somerville. He was the son of James and Esther Brine. He grew up in Cambridge and was a graduate of Cambridge Rindge High School. He continued his education at Boston College where he was a member of their men’s hockey team. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. In 1969, Jim’s father passed away and Jim took over his family’s business, Brine Sporting Goods, which was in Harvard Square Cambridge. The store was founded by his great great grandfather in 1867, and is now run by the sixth generation of Brines. Jim was an extremely talented salesman and business person. He was an athlete, knew his products, and knew what would best fit and benefit his customer. That knowledge and trust he developed with his customers is what kept his business thriving in the era of big box stores pushing out the smaller family businesses. All his 10 children at some point worked in the store. Even when he retired in 2007 and passed the business to the next generation, Jim still worked part time to help his children and continue his connection with the longtime loyal customers who he served for almost 40 years.

Jim was a man with a strong Catholic faith. It was at a youth group at St. Peter’s Church that he first met his future wife, Nancy Winn. They were married in 1962, purchased a home in Burlington, and immediately started a family. He was a member of St. Margaret’s Church. He taught religious education for many years and when he retired was a regular at daily mass. Jim’s biggest legacy is his family. He and Nancy would have 10 children, 20 grandchildren, and Jim was anxiously looking forward to becoming a great grandfather in the near future. When Jim wasn’t working, he was always on the move trying to follow all his children’s sports, school events, and countless other activities that were important to them. When he became a grandfather, he did the same as well. He went to hockey, baseball, softball, basketball, lacrosse, football, and field hockey games. He also went to musicals, recitals, choral shows, plays, and horse shows. He was always a kid at heart. He loved family vacations spent on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, Lake Sunapee, and Lake Winnisquam. He was so happy when he purchased a home on Lake Winnisquam for all his family to enjoy. He enjoyed zooming, rather than putting across the lakes. The more speed he could get on his boat or PWC the happier he was. He was also a bit of a thrill seeker. He never shied away from roller coasters or any other stomach turning rides. He had a very competitive nature as well. He played “No Check” hockey for decades, worked out daily at a health club, and was always up for some sort of competition. For example, his son challenged him about who could get home faster by bicycle from work in Harvard Square. So, Jim not wanting to lose took the fastest route, right down Route 2! He had the strength to overcome Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 26 years ago and any other hardship or obstacle he faced. His family had a wonderful mentor who leaves them with lasting values about hard work, faith in God, family, and there should be some element of fun in whatever you do.

Jim was the loving husband of the late Nancy J. (Winn). He was the loving father of the late James W. III & his wife Kathleen of Burlington, Joe & his wife Livia of Littleton, Maura Allen of Pepperell, Wendy Gavin & her husband Steve of Groton, Jeff of Billerica, Heidi Melanson & her husband Mark of Burlington, Gary Snow-Brine & his wife Sarah of Kissimmee, FL, Gayle Ford & her husband Matt of Holland, PA, Mark of Haverhill, Scott & his wife Joanne of Duxbury. He was the brother of Patricia O’Riordon of South Yarmouth and Judith McGinnity of Westborough. Jim was also survived by 20 grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (Exit 34 off Rt. 128, Woburn side) on Thursday, May 24 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Interment in Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge. Visiting hours Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. Memorials in Jim’s name may be made to the J.W. Brine III Foundation. PO Box 255, Burlington, MA 01803 or www.jwbrineiiifoundation.org

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