James L. McCusker, age 90, of Sugar Hill died suddenly April 18, 2016 at his home following a period of declining health. He was born July 4, 1925 in Bristol, Conn., the son of James J. and Katherine (Donnelly) McCusker. He graduated from Bristol High School where he was the baton twirling drum major and drummer in the band. He led his high school band in the New York World’s Fair in 1940. At 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He served in WWII as a radio operator/gunner on a B-24 heavy bomber with the 8th Air Force stationed at Norwich, England.
After service, he attended Boston University where he was active with his fraternity and was a member of the B.U. Marching and Concert bands. Upon graduation with a B.S. in B.A. accounting major he joined a CPA firm in Hartford, Conn.
In 1953 he married Ann Smith of Sugar Hill, NH. At the time they met, in 1950, she lived and was employed in Boston. They made their home in Avon, Conn. They were blessed with two daughters, Carol Ann and Joan Elizabeth.
In 1960 he joined Gibbs Wire & Steel Co., Inc. of Southington, Conn., a metal distributing company with nationwide branches. There he served as 1st Vice President, Treasurer and General Manager and as President and Treasurer of Gibbs Wire & Steel Co. of Canada, Ltd located in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. In 1973, with both daughters in college, the McCuskers bought a second home in Sugar Hill, NH. They spent many weekends there. He also served on Gibbs’ Board of Directors for many years even after his retirement in 1987. In 1988 they moved permanently to Sugar Hill, NH to their second home.
He served on boards in both Avon, Conn. and Sugar Hill, NH. He has served as president of the Profile Club in Franconia, Chairman of the Sugar Hill Carolina Crapo Trust, President of the Secret Lake Association, and Treasurer of Avon Land Trust. He was a member of the Connecticut Society of CPA’s, the Franconia Winter Club, the local Grandfather’s Luncheon Club, the Southington Rotary Club and the Plainville Ancient Fife and Drum Corp.
He was a devoted and generous husband and father. He loved Sugar Hill and with his strength, persistence and carpentry skills they transformed the Lookoff Hotel carriage house into a beautiful home. His two daughters also benefited from those same talents at their own homes.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Ann; his two daughters, Carol Messner and her husband Thomas of Lyman, NH and Joan Prell and her husband Mark of Franconia, NH; a nephew and several nieces. He was predeceased by his parents, a brother, John McCusker of Bristol, Conn., and a sister, Anne Riley of Orleans, Mass.
Burial will be at Sunnyside Cemetery in Sugar Hill. At Jim’s request, funeral services will be private.
Memorial contributions may be made to Copper Cannon Camp, P.O. Box 124, Franconia, NH 03580 or Child & Family Services, P.O. 448, Manchester, NH 03105.