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James H. Hepburn

August 8, 1927 ~ August 3, 2019 (age 91)

James Hughes Hepburn, 91, late of Weymouth, Mass., died peacefully August 4, 2019. 

"Jim" was born in 1927 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Salvation Army officers James Marshall Hepburn and Lily Jean Hughes. Graduating from Belmont High School in Massachusetts, he began his career as a bookkeeper for Karis & Karis Glass Company. In the 1950s he acquired Whittemore-Durgin Glass Company and eventually converted it from a plate glass company into the first and longest-running mail-order stained glass supply company in the world. It was operated as a family-run business, employing many relatives, neighbors and church members over the years. The company is now owned by his daughter, Kathleen, and son-in-law, Kevin Becker.

An experienced musician, bandmaster, composer and arranger, and a man of deep abiding Christian faith, Jim played in Salvation Army bands in Detroit, Cambridge, Boston and Quincy. In the 1970s he was bandmaster of the Boston Central Corps Youth Band, where scores of young people gained their start as musicians, many of whom have continued on as Salvation Army musicians. His son, James M. Hepburn, is bandmaster for Quincy Temple Corps.

Jim was an avid reader, a prolific writer, an accomplished gardener and a skilled woodworker. He maintained a substantial archive of family history, and enjoyed sharing genealogical discoveries with his family.

After a stroke in 2005, Jim was very restricted in his ability to get around, but continued to visit Whittemore-Durgin and attend church until he was eventually confined to a wheelchair. In his remaining years, he continued to enjoy his books, his visits and "Skyping" with his children.

He was married in 1946 to the late Jean E. Jackson, and is survived by their five children; Jean E. Fleming (and Keith) of Stockbridge, Georgia; James M. Hepburn (and Bonnie) of Braintree, Mass.; Bradley J.S. Hepburn of London, England; Bramwell H. Hepburn (and Cristina) of Eliot, Maine; and Kathleen E. Hepburn (and Kevin Becker) of Medford, Mass.  He is also survived by eleven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held Saturday, August 10, at 11:00 a.m. at the Quincy Salvation Army, 6 Baxter St., Quincy, Mass. Visitation will be held prior to the start of the service, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim's memory to the "Quincy Salvation Army Band Fund", c/o Quincy Salvation Army, 6 Baxter St, Quincy, MA 02169.

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