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1922 James 2016

James A. Marine

November 10, 1922 — December 19, 2016

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A Match Made in Torrington......

On December 19, 2016, James Alan Marine passed away in Nashua, New Hampshire after a very brief illness.

Jim was born in Rochester, New York on November 10, 1922. In September of 1949, on a vacation to Montreal, he took a detour through Torrington, CT to follow up on a lead from his father about a “young woman” he had met on a sales call to the Quality Shop, a men’s clothing store in Torrington.  This detour would leave to a life and career in Torrington. The “young woman,” a recent college grad, Anita Smith, had stepped in to run the family business due to the failing health of her father.  The two hit it off and after a whirlwind romance of four months, including a weekend in NYC, they were married in January of 1950, thus embarking on the dual journey of life partners and business partners until Anita’s death 65 years later in 2015.

Although he moved to Nashua later in life to be closer to family, Jim’s heart remained in Torrington, where he and Anita raised their daughters and ran the Quality Shop until 2004.  Jim had received a BS in accounting from the University of Michigan in 1943 and started his business school education, which was interrupted in 1945 when he was deployed to Okinawa as part of the Army Signal Corps.  Upon his return, he completed his MBA at the University of Michigan and began a career in retailing in Rochester, which ended quite unexpectedly when he and Anita married and relocated to Torrington in 1950.

In 1952, Jim and Anita purchased the Quality Hat Store.  For over four decades the couple worked side by side as they grew and transformed the business into the premier men's haberdashery in northwestern CT.  While Anita focused on marketing and Jim on operations, they both loved buying and shared that responsibility, including monthly trips to the buying houses and trade shows in New York City’s garment district.  Both Jim and Anita agreed that the key to working day in and day out with your spouse was a love of the business and the challenges to be surmounted, as well as clear areas of responsibility and mutual respect.

In 1997, they retired and dedicated the winter months to their home in Boynton Beach, FL. Jim divided his time equally between his two loves, bridge games and golf tournaments. He also taught English as a Second Language to recent immigrants in the Boynton Beach area and took advantage of the course offerings, particularly music and art, at Florida Atlantic University.  It was not until retirement that the two had the time to travel and they did so extensively, enjoying the national parks, foreign countries, elder hostels of many varieties and cruises devoted solely to bridge players!

Jim was active in several civic and philanthropic organizations, including the Downtown Torrington Business Association, the Probus Club and the Beth El Synagogue, where he enjoyed his years as advisor to the Synagogue’s youth group. In 2004, the Marines donated the 69 Main Street building, former home to the Quality Shop, to the Warner Theatre and established the Nancy Marine Studio Theatre, a 200-seat black box theatre, in the former Mertz building, in memory of their daughter Nancy Marine.

The son of the late Arlene (Jacobs) Marine of Newport, RI and Samuel Marine of Rochester, NY, Jim is survived by his daughter, Carol, and her husband, Richard Smith of Lexington, MA; his grandchildren Lee Marine Smith of West Chester, PA and Kate Marine Smith of New York, NY; his sisters-in-law Adele Smith and Charlotte Shapiro of Nashua; his brother-in-law Stanley Greene of  Lafayette Hill, PA; his nieces Marjorie Drouin and her husband, David Drouin, and Barbara DeDousis and her husband, Nicholas DeDousis, all of Nashua, Laurie Shapiro and her partner Frank Ware of Sierra Vista, AZ and Susan Greene and her partner Wendy Berry of Wellesley, MA; several great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews and many loving care companions and friends. He was predeceased by his beloved daughters, Nancy Jane Marine in 2001 and Wendy Kay Marine in 1955; his sister Katherine (Marine) Greene in 2009; and his brother-in-law, Leonard Shapiro of Nashua in 2016.

SERVICES: A funeral will be held on Thursday, December 22nd at 2:00 pm at Beth El Synagogue at 124 Litchfield Street, Torrington, with burial following at the Sons of Jacob Cemetery, 1700 Winsted Road, Torrington.  Friends and relatives are invited to gather for a meal of consolation immediately following burial at the Nancy Marine Studio Theatre Lobby at 82 Main Street in Torrington. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Jim’s memory to: The Nancy Marine Studio Theatre at the Warner (make check payable to Nancy Marine Studio Theatre at the Warner: Memory of Jim Marine), 68 Main Street, Torrington, CT 06790 or online at (select “donations”, and “in memory of” Jim Marine); or the Sinfonietta Strings of Greater Nashua - Anita Marine Scholarship Fund (memo line: Memory of Jim Marine – strings program). Make check payable to United Way, c/o Sinfonietta Strings, 3 Belfast Street, Nashua, NH 03063, or donate online at:

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