James L. “Jim” Gourley, 82, a lifetime resident of Surry, died on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. He passed peacefully in the familiar surroundings of his home with the love of family near.
James was born the son of the late Aurora (Berthiaume) and Lawrence Gourley on May 25, 1939, in Keene. He was educated locally and graduated from Keene High School with the class of 1957. Jim was a patriot and he enlisted in the N.H. Army National Guard. He served his enlistment and was honorably discharged September of 1962 at the rank of Sergeant, E-5.
On July 15, 1961, he exchanged vows with Sandra J. Ballou at St. Bernard Church in Keene. They were married with family and friends in attendance and have been married for 60 years. Later in life, Jim went on in his studies and attained a bachelor’s degree in business management from Franklin Pierce College with the class of 1978.
He worked at American Optical in Keene for 25 years as a manufacturing supervisor until they closed. He was later employed by Janos and Turmoil Co. in Keene as a purchasing agent prior to his retirement in 2001.
He had many interests in life. Time was spent hunting and fishing, going boating and being with family. Jim was always helping his children with the numerous house projects that they had.
Mr. Gourley is survived by his wife, Sandra “Sandy” J. Gourley, of Surry; his children and their spouses: Cheryl A. Plumley and her husband, Julian, of Langdon; Lori J. Lavertue of Surry; Vonda K. Mitchell of Alstead; and Scott J. Gourley and his wife, Jill, of Westmoreland; a sister, Joan Bosely, of Keene; 17 grandchildren: John, Cody, Jed, Luke, Maicho, Teagan, Kianna, Taylene, Mason, Trevor, Cole, Gage, Olivia, Lindsay, Gabby, Kaleb and Hayden; and five great-grandchildren: Zade, Piper, Liam, Arthur and Cove. In addition, he is survived by a son-in-law, David Holmes; cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Jim is predeceased by his daughter, Denise H. Holmes, on Jan. 13, 1983; and a grandson, Peter P. Chiovitti, on July 10, 1992.
Calling hours will be held on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the funeral chapel at Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave., Keene. Burial with military honors will take place on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, at 11 a.m. in the family lot at Village Cemetery, Village Road, Surry. Flowers will gladly be accepted; however, the family would prefer donations be made in memory of James L. Gourley to: Surry Volunteer Fire Department, 444 Route 12A, Surry NH 03431. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave., Keene NH 03431 (www.cheshirefamilyfh.com).