Music 08

James Francis "Jim" Sargent

October 26, 2022

James Sargent Obituary

James Francis “Jim” Sargent passed away on Wednesday, October 26, at Mass General Hospital, Boston, surrounded by his devoted family. His death was precipitated by a rare and increasingly aggressive cancer.

Jim is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Elizabeth M “Beth” Sargent, and their three children, Jennifer Flanagan and her husband Jay of Hopkinton, James of Austin, TX, and Margaret and her partner Nick Arnemann of Somerville. He is also survived by his two grandchildren, Grace and Owen Flanagan of Hopkinton, and by his brother, Charles J Sargent and his wife Alison of Salisbury, MA.

Jim was born July 22, 1948, in Newton, MA, and grew up in Cambridge, MA. In the Sputnik era of the mid-1950’s, he was part of a group of elementary students selected as “the best and brightest”, to be part of a laboratory class taught by an elite team of educators in response to US concerns about Russia’s performance in the space race. He remained a part of that group through high school graduation. He graduated from Harvard College in the Class of 1969.

Jim was a classically trained guitarist, who found his passion musically in folk, jazz, and blues. He and Beth founded the Homegrown Coffeehouse at First Parish Needham and produced concerts there for 40 years. During COVID, they produced several online concerts, and were planning to resume the live series this fall.

Jim founded and directed the First Parish Singers, an alternative adult choir at First Parish, focused on non-traditional music to enhance the worship experience.

Jim recently retired from the Unitarian Universalist Association, where he had been instrumental in creating and directing an insured health plan, with an emphasis on women’s health, wellness across communities, improved access to healthcare services, especially for underserved communities, and inclusion for LGBTQ+ health concerns.

His Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, December 10 at 3:00pm at First Parish, Unitarian Universalist, Needham, with a reception to follow. The service will be live-streamed for those unable to attend in person.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to First Parish UU, Needham, or to the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition.

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A Memorial Service and Celebration of Life
December 10, 2022

3:00 PM
First Parish Unitarian-Universalist
23 Dedham Avenue
Needham, MA 02492


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