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James Walter Carignan

Date of Death: August 14, 2011

Date of Birth: August 31, 1939


James Walter Carignan, 71, Brunswick, ME -

James Carignan died Sunday, August 14 after a courageous battle with heart and renal disease.  He was the son of the late Herve and Florence Carignan, and the husband of Sally Larson Carignan with whom he recently celebrated his 49th wedding anniversary.

Jim was born in Laconia, NH on August 31st, 1939.  He graduated from Bates College in 1961, and received his PhD. from the University of Rochester, He taught history at Kent State University and Kenyon College in Ohio

Returning to his Alma Mater as Dean of Men in 1969, Jim was appointed Dean of the College in 1971. At the request of President Harward, Jim launched the Bates Center for Service Learning, one of the first of its kind in the country and a program that continues to be a national model. He co-chaired LA Together, a program that lead to greater collaboration and cooperation between Lewiston and Auburn. Jim served two terms as a Lewiston City Councilor, also penning a column for the Lewiston Sun Journal entitled “From the Front Porch”.

His accomplishments were many. Governor King appointed Jim to the Maine Learning Results Taskforce. Jim also worked successfully to resolve labor disputes as a Mediator for the state of Maine. After his retirement from Bates College in 2005 he was appointed by Governor Baldacci to the State Board of Education, serving until his death.  He served as the Chairman of the Maine Mathematics Alliance. As Chair of the St. Mary’s Health Care System Board, Jim lead the board as they continued their commitment to downtown Lewiston, taking great pride in their building of attractive, high quality, low-income housing.  Jim worked with the United Donor Organ Society Initiative (UNOS) to promote and support organ donation. 

Jim was a visionary whose all encompassing optimism and faith centered on his belief in the capacity of his fellow man and woman to do the right and just thing.  He believed deeply in the freeing of peoples prejudices and the raising up of lives through education.  He believed in the capacity of people to solve problems together when respect is present.  His passion for civil rights for all people played itself out in his work at the college, in the community and in his own personal life.  His personal courage in meeting and overcoming adversity was an enormous inspiration to those who knew him as well.  Jim’s indefatigable and contagiously optimistic spirit, which was larger than life, is an enormous gift he shared with us all.

          He is survived by his wife Sally Larson Carignan, his children Mark Carignan and his wife Sherri, Steven Carignan and his wife Anastasia, Paul Carignan and his wife Sally, and Sarah Carignan Belanger.  He will also be missed by his grandchildren Nathan, Daniel, Samuel, Rachel, Liviah, Ella, Maya, James and Lily. 

          Visiting hours will be held Wednesday, August 17th from 7-9 pm at the Carignan residence, 20 Birch Meadow Rd., Brunswick, ME.  A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday August 18th at 11 am at St. Charles Borromeo in Brunswick ME.  In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the James and Sally Carignan Fund at Bates College or the American Heart Association.

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