ROCKLAND — James Harvey Groves, 88, died at the Sussman House in Rockport, Maine, on Nov. 12, 2022, from congestive heart failure.

He was born in Somerville, Mass., on Oct. 21, 1934, the son of Linwood LaForest and Jeannette Mary (Swain) Groves. At the age of five, he and his family moved to Maine and lived in Bath and Woolwich. He was educated in local schools, attending the one-room schoolhouse at Days Ferry in Woolwich, and graduating from Morse High School with the class of 1953.

Following his graduation from Morse High, he began employment as a surveyor for the firm of Wright & Pierce of Topsham. Between the years of 1957 and 1959 he served in the U.S. Army, stationed in various places in the United States. In 1967 he started working for the Maine Department of Transportation out of its Rockland office as an engineering technician, remaining there until he retired in 1992. While in the Rockland office, he also spent some time working for various other departments.

Having a lifelong love of nature, he started at a young age feeding birds around their home in Woolwich. In later years after retirement, he continued watching and feeding birds around his home and kept a log of the many varieties of birds which visited his feeders. He identified approximately 50 or more birds, including some hawks, which visited their backyards and feeders.

Following a gift of a model train set at the age of three, he held a lifelong love of trains, both full-size and scale model. He built layouts of various sizes, finally realizing a preference of O-scale to all others.

In 1969 he married Marlene A. Hinkley of Bath, and they lived there for a year before moving to Rockland. He and his family enjoyed many trips to their camp on Eskutassis Lake in East Lowell where he enjoyed canoeing, camping and fly fishing. Another enjoyment, especially after retirement, was gardening around their home and he kept all of their plants and shrubs well maintained.

A member of the Rockland Congregational Church since 1971, he was a member of its Board of Deacons between 2000 and 2006 and was also a member of its Men’s Club and the visitation committee.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years; their daughter Heather Nicoll and her husband James Nicoll of Longwood, Fla.; grandsons Thomas and Jackson Nicoll of Longwood, Fla.; one niece, Pamela Russ and her husband David Russ, of Columbia; two nephews, John A. Greenlaw and his wife Marlene Greenlaw, of Lincoln and Richard J. Greenlaw and his wife Jean Greenlaw, of Kittery, as well as several grandnieces, grandnephews and cousins.

A celebration of life with a reception to follow will be held at the Rockland Congregational Church, 180 Limerock St., Rockland, Maine, on Dec. 3, 2022, at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Dr. Seth D. Jones presiding. For those unable to attend in person, James’s service may be viewed by clicking on the Photos and Videos tab on his Book of Memories, and then on the Watch Webcast link.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Abiding Memorial Fund of the Rockland Congregational Church, the Humane Society of Knox County, 25 Buttermilk Lane, Thomaston, ME 04861 or to the charity of your choice.

To share a memory or condolence with James’ family, please visit their Book of Memories at

Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter and Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland.