Anthony James Annear, who friends and family knew as “Jim,” passed away at home on Tuesday, March 21, after a long battle with cancer. He was 78.
Jim is survived by his wife of 45 years, Linda Annear; two sons, Mike and Steve; brother, Fr. David; daughter-in-law, Jillian Fennimore; and granddaughter Ruby Louise — the pride of his life, who he loved to make orange juice with.
He was predeceased by his father, John Henry, and mother, Ethel.
Jim grew up in Postwar Britain in the town of Torquay, a quaint community along the coastline that’s part of an area known as the English Riviera.
Restless and adventurous from an early age, Jim enlisted in the British Army at 17, a decision that took him to different parts of the world — including Cyprus, where he served in the United Nations Peacekeeping Force. His service laid the foundation for a love of travel, a lifetime passion that could never quite be satiated.
In 1972, Jim came to the US to visit his childhood friend, Alan, before heading on an adventure to Australia. But he was quickly drawn to the area and decided to scrap the trip and stay. He moved to Cambridge, Mass., where he worked as a driving instructor and later a cab driver, jobs that were a call back to his days as a double-decker bus driver in London after leaving the army.
While playing a game of darts at the Bull & Finch Pub on Beacon Street (now called Cheers), Jim met Linda, who he married in 1978. The couple lived for a short time in England before eventually moving back to the US and settling down in Arlington, Mass., where they raised their two children.
Besides his love of travel, Jim enjoyed years of windsurfing, swimming laps in Walden Pond, taking his boys on camping trips and hikes in New Hampshire, riding his Fuji bike down the bike path, reading anything he could get his hands on (especially history books), and watching the stock market fluctuate.
After his stints as a driver in his twenties, Jim picked up carpentry, a skill that he quickly mastered and then turned into a full-fledged business that he owned and operated successfully for decades. It was aptly named Monarch Carpentry, a hat tip to his early life overseas. After eventually retiring and selling the business, he resumed his travel adventures with Linda by his side.
He never did make it to Australia. But the detour was well worth it.
Jim will be buried at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, which directly abuts the “good ol’ home” where he put down his roots. The family plans to host a celebration of Jim’s life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, pour a cup of tea in his honor and enjoy a good book.