James A. Harvey, 93, a life-long resident of Duxbury, VT died at home on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.
As an eight-year-old schoolboy, Jim started working for his father who was a farmer and draft horse dealer. By eleven, his main chore was to feed, water and clean up after the horses before they were delivered to their new owners. Never responsible for fewer than six animals, he would get some help if there were fourteen or more. Jim had a deep knowledge and love of horses. They were a part of Jim’s life until the end.
Jim took over operation of the Harvey Farm on River Road in the mid-1950s. He married Ellen Ann O’Brien of Waterbury in 1955. They raised eight children though he gave her most of the credit since he worked long days, farming, logging, sugaring, and sometimes racing. Eventually, Jim sold off the cows and worked as a rural mail carrier.
Jim was a lifetime member of St. Andrew’s Parrish and past grand knight of the Knights of Columbus, Father Galligan Council in Waterbury. He served as a Duxbury Town Officer for thirteen years on the Select Board and in other positions. He acted as a representative to the Harwood Union High School Board of Directors for three years.
In 2015, Jim was elected to the Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame for his contributions to Standardbred Harness Racing in Vermont. He began raising and developing harness horses in 1968. Jim has trained many horses with winning records in a variety of venues including in the Quebec Sire Stakes at the Hippodrome de Montreal and in the New York Sires Stakes. His proudest achievement was raising and training two winners of the Saratoga Horse of Year. One of them, Kelly’s Noah, was inducted into the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame while he was still actively racing – an unusual honor.
Jim was a true Vermonter from the old school. A good neighbor who would always lend a hand, and a good man respected by everyone who knew him.
Jim’s wife, Ellen, passed away just shy of their 50th wedding anniversary in 2005. He is survived by his children and their families, James G. Harvey and his son James J. Harvey and his wife Serena Harvey; Maureen Harvey; Ann Harvey; Eileen Harvey Baker and her husband Phil Baker; Thomas and his wife Heidi Harvey and their children Zachary Harvey, India Harvey, and McColl Tian and her husband Will Tian; Joseph Harvey and his wife Monique Harvey, their daughter, Caroline Wright, and her husband, William Wright; Joan Hale, her daughters, Sarah Hale, Maggie Hale and Jessica Hale, her partner LT Norris and their son, Sawyer Hale Norris; and Patti Harvey, her husband, Tim Marceau and her son, Devon Hathaway. Jim is also survived by his younger sisters, Sister Mary Harvey and Helene Harvey and several nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 16 at St. Andrew Catholic Church, 109 S. Main St, Waterbury, VT. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Andrews Parish, 109 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05676 or to The Foundation for the Horse, 4033 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511