James P. "Jamie" Holcombe Jr., 64 of Winthrop passed away on September 23, 2023, surrounded by his loving family after a grueling battle with glioblastoma. He faced his difficult diagnosis with an inner strength and a quiet dignity that surprised nobody who knew him. He lived in Massachusetts for many years but was born in Charleston SC, a city he truly loved and visited frequently throughout the years. He always considered Charleston to be his real home and he was a true Southern gentleman to his core. Jamie was such a kind man and very generous to the people around him, often times paying for the car behind him in the drive thru or an elderly person's groceries just to bring a smile to someone's day, including his own. He enjoyed many things in life but nothing meant more to him than time spent with the friends and family he cared for so deeply, special times that usually included great food, good conversation and wonderful restaurants. He was known for his own culinary skills which were impressive to say the least and his famous clam chowder was always in high demand around the holidays and could rival the best of them. He was also an eloquent writer, responsible for nightstand drawers overflowing with cards and letters he liked to write to the people he loved words far too precious and meaningful to ever be discarded, but saved instead to be read again at another place in time. Jamie's love of friends and family extended to the four legged kind as well. No matter where he went, if there was a dog in the vicinity, it somehow made its way over to him for a belly rub, and Jamie didn't disappoint. They were drawn to him instinctively, somehow sensing his loving nature as only a dog can do and that love was always reciprocated. We can only imagine the race to Heaven's door with Jocko, Bulova and his beloved Butch racing to be the first to greet him. Jamie enjoyed so many different things and was always ready for the next adventure. He loved to travel which was a big part of his life and his job. He loved the ocean and waking up every morning to the salt air and beautiful views that always brought him peace and serenity but never more so than these last few months. He also liked concerts, a great series to binge watch, a good book to read and all things outdoors, but he was his happiest anytime he had a fishing rod in his hand and was out on his treasured boat that brought him endless hours of pleasure. But while fishing brought him so much joy his true passion in life was found at 37000 feet in the air when he was flying an airplane. Jamie spent more than 40 years in the airline industry and flying was in his DNA. He began his airline journey at Piedmont Airlines as a flight attendant but realized the cockpit of the plane was where he belonged. He worked for US Airways when the two companies completed a merger and ended his career as a Captain at JetBlue Airlines where he spent the last 16 years doing what he loved the most, flying airplanes.
He leaves behind his beloved wife and twin flame Merna (Van) who will count the minutes until she is reunited with the love of her life, his children whom he adored Jessica Holcombe and her partner Timothy Kottyan, Taylor Boyle and her husband Keith and Ashley Holcombe and her husband Jonathan Bailey and his cherished granddaughter, Harper Rose Boyle who stole his heart the day she was born. He also leaves his mother Frances (Noonan) Holcombe, two brothers Robert Holcombe and John Holcombe and his wife Brooke, a sister Elizabeth Holcombe, his sister-in-law Marjorie (Van) Finucane and her husband Michael and brother-in-law Jeffrey Van and his wife Debbie as well as his mother in law Lois Van. Jamie was predeceased by his father James Philip Holcombe and his sister Ashley Heath Peters, and also leaves behind many friends and extended family members.
Jamie's life and the tender way he treated people could never be summed up in a paragraph or two but fortunately for those of us who loved him dearly there are pages upon pages written for him in our hearts where he will remain forever. A helping hand or a random act of kindness for someone would truly honor his memory and would be very much appreciated by his loved ones. This more than anything else would capture the generosity of spirit and the grace with which Jamie lived his life. We will honor him at a later date to be announced.