James was born the son of the late Aurora (Berthiaume) and Lawrence Gourley on May 25, 1939, in Keene. He was educated locally and graduated from Keene High School class of 1957. Jim was a patriot and he enlisted in the NH Army National Guard. He served his enlistment and was honorably discharged in September of 1962 at the rank of Sergeant, E-5.
On July 15, 1961, he exchanged vows with Sandra J. Ballou at St. Bernard Church in Keene. They were married with family and friends in attendance and have been married for sixty years. Later in life, Jim went on in his studies and attained a Bachelors’s Degree in Business Management from Franklin Pierce College class of 1978.
He worked at American Optical in Keene for twenty-five years as a Manufacturing Supervisor until they closed. He was later employed by Janos and Turmoil Co. in Keene as a Purchasing Agent prior to his retirement in 2001.
He had many interests in life. Time was spent hunting and fishing, going boating, and being with family. Jim was always helping his children with the numerous house projects that they had.
Mr. Gourley is survived by his wife, Sandra “Sandy” J. Gourley of Surry. His children and their spouses; Cheryl A. Plumley and her husband, Julian of Langdon. Lori J. Lavertue of Surry. Vonda K. Mitchell of Alstead. Scott J. Gourley and his wife, Jill of Westmoreland. A sister, Joan Bosely of Keene. Seventeen grandchildren; John, Cody, Jed, Luke, Maicho, Teagan, Kianna, Taylene, Mason, Trevor, Cole, Gage, Olivia, Lindsay, Gabby, Kaleb, and Hayden. Five great-grandchildren; Zade, Piper, Liam, Arthur, and Cove. In addition, he is survived by; a son-in-law, David Holmes, cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. Jim is predeceased by his daughter, Denise H. Holmes on January 13, 1983, and a grandson, Peter P. Chiovitti on July 10, 1992.
Calling hours will be held on Thursday, September 9, 2021, from 6 to 8 pm. in the funeral chapel. Burial will take place on Friday, September 10, 2021, at 11 am. in the family lot with military honors at Village Cemetery, Village Rd. Surry, NH. 03431. Flowers will gladly be accepted, however, the family would prefer donations be made in memory of James L. Gourley to:
Surry Volunteer Fire Department
444 Rt. 12A
Surry, NH. 03431.
All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431. www.cheshirefamilyfh.com