PENOBSCOT — James “Jim” P. Modisette, 68, passed away Thursday Oct. 18, 2012. Jim was born in Pasadena, Calif., the son of Robert M. Modisette and Jeanette Kortlander. Jim died after a battle with brain cancer. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Ruth; his son, JM; and his two brothers, Dan and Rob Modisette.
Jim grew up in Pasadena, Calif., and attended Flintridge Preparatory School. After graduating from Dartmouth College, he pursued his law degree at the University of California – Hastings School of Law and was admitted to the California Bar in 1970. Jim practiced law in Los Angeles until 1997 when he and his family moved to Penobscot. In Maine he started a practice in Ellsworth first and then later he became a partner in Best and Modisette in Blue Hill. Jim was always an advocate for his family. One area in which he was particularly dedicated was junior sailing for JM and later for other junior sailors. Jim spent many weekends driving JM all over the country. During the week, he helped advance junior sailing wherever he was. In California, he was commodore of the International Naples Sabot Association, while in Blue Hill he helped strengthen the relationship between George Stevens Academy and the Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club. Jim was instrumental in starting the Kollegewidgwok Sailing and Education Association, a nonprofit sailing school that now serves Blue Hill and the surrounding region. He started the DownEast Regatta in which today numerous high schools from around New England compete. Jim was an active participant in the community wherever he lived. He was the commodore of the Los Angeles Yacht Club in 1992. Jim was rear commodore of the Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club in 2004 and 2005, and was also a member of the Council of Directors and served on several of the yacht club committees. He enjoyed being an active member of the Cruising Club of America. He also was a member of the Hope Town Sailing Club in Abaco, Bahamas. At the time of his death, Jim was the vice president of the Board of Trustees for the Wilson Museum in Castine and a member of the Board of Trustees for George Stevens Academy. Jim is remembered by his friends as “always generous and kind, cheerful and understanding, a man of integrity, always helpful, and a good friend.” Others consider themselves fortunate that he was in their lives. One of his family’s most treasured tributes is “When I think of Jim, I think of the kind of values I want to be remembered by and would like my children to live by.”
A remembrance of life will be held 3 p.m. Dec. 9, 2012, at the Peninsula Metamorphic Arts & Learning Center, Blue Hill, Remembrances of life are also planned for next year at Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club, Los Angeles Yacht Club and in Hope Town — details to follow. In lieu of flowers, Ruth and JM have asked that those wishing to make a donation in Jim’s memory contribute to the James P. Modisette Scholarship Fund at George Stevens Academy, 23 Union St., Blue Hill, ME 04614. Please share memories and photos at www.forevermissed.com/jim-modisette.