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James R. "Jim"

June 19, 1930 – April 25, 2020

James Marr
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— Morse-Bayliss Funeral Home

Obituary for James R. "Jim" Marr

Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather

James “Jim” Raymond Marr, 89, born in Lowell, Massachusetts on June 19, 1930 to Grant and Leonore (Diette) Marr, passed away on Saturday evening, April 25, 2020 surrounded by his family.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Jacqueline (Smith) Marr, his children, James R. Marr Jr., Debra Gauvin, and Robin Gagnon, his grandchildren James R. Marr III, Jeanie (Marr) Underwood, Julieanne (Marr) Tanguay, Scott Gauvin, Tiffany (Gauvin) Smith, Didrick “DJ” Hall, and Joseph Hall; his great-grandchildren, Courtney (Mcnamara) Miller, Julia Tanguay, James R. Marr IV, David Underwood, Matthew Smith, Keith Tanguay, Adriana Porter-Marr, Morghan Smith, Alexis Hall, Jariya Hall, Alec Gauvin and Belén Gauvin, and his great-great-grandchildren, Jaxon Miller, Aubrey Miller, Chase Miller, Maverick Miller, and Troy Tanguay; his sister Arlene Lamprey and her husband Robert, and many, many nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Frank Marr, Doris Provencher, Louie Marr and Rita Marr.

Outgoing and social, fun loving and hardworking, Jim or Gramp as he would later come to be known by his family, had a genuine interest in helping those around him in quite literally, any way he could.

His willingness to be of service didn’t depend on his personal circumstances, time of day or size of the request. It never faltered, even as his own life experienced its ups and downs, even as he struggled with debilitating back pain for nearly 60 years. His generosity of spirit meant he was there at a moment’s notice for those who needed him - it was how he loved. And his love, at times tough and at other times tender, was unconditional.

Though a severe back injury in his mid-20’s curbed his working career at Friends Lumber Company and Lowell Iron Foundry, his tenacity and abundance of energy drove him to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities where he could put his outgoing nature and technical curiosity to good use. The original MacGyver, Gramp could make or fix virtually anything spending hours repairing appliances and vacuum motors for his customers, and bicycles for his grandkids.

He came to love cooking as much as tinkering. Food, like service, was love for Gramp. He loved to cook and feed people and whether or not something was already cooking, or if you were hungry or not, you never left his house without eating. He wouldn’t leave you alone - offering you everything and anything he had in his kitchen until you surrendered. He delighted in spoiling everyone, but especially the children who he guided to bowls of his favorite candies or a special toy at nearly every visit.

Taking us to school, to church, to get our hair cut, to the store, to the park, doing his adult grandchildren’s laundry, teaching us to ride a bike, to drive, entertaining great-grandchildren with a new trinket, sitting at his favorite spot under the dock at Salisbury beach fully clothed in pants and shirtsleeves, graduations, weddings and baptisms, Gramp took pride in his clan and relished being a central part of his extended family’s daily life.

We will remember Sunday dinners in his kitchen, resisting the 2nds and 3rds he tried to force on us - his beloved Red Sox playing faintly in the background, both the unexpected and expected thwacks of his ninja cane and the twinkle in his eyes when he had succeeded in scaring us half to death. We will even miss his fiery temper, silly sayings like, “Only dogs get mad”, and advice to never go about anything on an empty stomach. But mostly we’ll remember the many big and small ways he showed up for all of us and how much better our lives were because of his love.

SERVICES: Due to current gathering restrictions, Mr. Marr’s Graveside Service was privately held at Lowell Cemetery in Lowell. Arrangements in the care of the Morse-Bayliss Funeral Home, 122 Princeton Boulevard, Lowell. Funeral Director, Frederick W. Healy. Please visit Jim’s celebration of life tribute at

Interment Information

Lowell Cemetery
77 Knapp Ave.
Lowell, MA 01852
Mr. Marr's Graveside Service was private.
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