Richard H. James

Richard “Rich” H. James, M.D., 93, a longtime resident of Keene and formerly of Massachusetts and New York, died on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. He passed peacefully in the comfort of his home with the love of family near.

Richard was born the son of the late Marion (Niles) and Frank James on Jan. 6, 1926, in Mt. Vernon, N.Y. He was educated in Pelham, N.Y., and graduated from Pelham High School, class of 1944.

Rich enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He served as a Signalman on the U.S.S. Surona. Rich served his enlistment and was honorably discharged on May 28, 1946, at the rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class, E-5.

Rich went onto college at Columbia University, earning a bachelor’s degree, class of 1949. He continued on at Cornell University School of Medicine, where he earned his Doctorate Degree in Medicine (M.D.) class of 1953. He served a rotating internship at Cotnado General Hospital from 1953 to 1954. He then went on in a three-year residency focusing on Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Boston. Following his medical training, he accepted a commission with the U.S. Navy for 10 years as an Aviation Medical Examiner.

On March 9, 1950, he exchanged vows with Virginia C. Cupp at the Little Church Around the Corner in New York City. They have been married for 69 years.

Dr. James practiced Internal Medicine at the Keene Clinic for 35 years, serving a term as Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine. He was the Keene School System Doctor for 10 years.

He was also a member of the Cheshire Medical Society, American Medical Association, N.H. Heart Association, American Geriatrics Society, Massachusetts Medical Society, American Society of Internal Medicine, American Thoracic Society, American Heart Association and the American Red Cross. He served as a member and past President of the Cheshire Hospital Medical Staff and Keene Clinic.

Dr. James was honored by the New York Hospital and Blood Bank of Cornell Medical Center for 36 years of contributions for his rare blood type. His blood was used for research and screening for antibodies.

He was an avid sport enthusiast, belonging to the Keene Country Club, The Racquet Club, Cheshire Fish and Game Club and the Appalachian Mountain Club. Dr. James skiied, played golf and tennis and game hunted as long as he was physically able.

Dr. James is survived by his wife, Virginia C. James, of Keene, his children: Bruce R. James and his wife, Anne, of Lebanon; Gary N. James of Hampton, Va.; Gail Hughes and her husband, Barry, of Ithaca, N.Y.; and Holly F. James of Sudbury, Mass.; his grandchildren: Eric James and his wife, Jessica; Seth James and his wife, Sarah; Kyle James and his wife, Rebecca DeSavino; Tabitha Treacy and her husband, Sean; Jacqueline Hughes; Trevor James; and Alexa James; great-grandchildren: Margrethe, Oliver, Teddie, Remy, Ely, Marlo and Maddie. In addition, he leaves cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. He is pre-deceased by his siblings, Samuel James and Sarah Leonard.

In keeping with Dr. James’ wishes there are no calling hours or formal services. In lieu of flowers, one may send donations in memory of Dr. Richard H. James to: Keene Family YMCA, 200 Summit Road, Keene 03431. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave., Keene 03431 (www.cheshirefamilyfh.com).