In Loving Memory of Jim Orcutt

1940 – 2024

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It is with both sadness and joy that we announce the passing of James H. Orcutt of Easton, MA on January 22, 2024, from this world into eternal life— sadness for those of us who love and will miss him dearly; joy for Jim who was welcomed to heaven with a warm embrace by our loving Father and brother Jesus. Imagine the celebration when Jim arrived home!

Jim was born in Weymouth in 1940, the youngest of eight children to Mary L. (Friery) and James H. Orcutt, Sr. Times were tough for the Orcutt’s and Jim grew up poor, five to a bed and eating ketchup sandwiches. Jim described this as one of the great blessings of his life. It forged strong family bonds that lasted a lifetime and gave him empathy, the ability to look someone in the eyes and say what he felt are the five most powerful words in the English language: “I know how you feel.”

Jim was short on formal education, but he was an exceptional student of life. He was a voracious reader, a gifted speaker, full of passion, and as talented as they come.

Jim dropped out of Weymouth High School at age 17 and forged his mother’s name on paperwork to join the US Navy. He completed a tour of duty in Japan. One of his claims to fame is being the only guy who spent four years in the Navy without ever stepping foot on a ship.

After leaving the Navy, Jim worked for The Enterprise, rose through the ranks, and became a rep for the International Newspaper Guild. He negotiated hundreds of labor contracts throughout the country improving the lives of union members and their families and was considered one of the very best. He started his career in Brockton and ended up on W. 43rd Street in Manhattan.

Jim loved old sayings because they hold so much truth. He was especially fond of the Portuguese proverb, “God writes straight with crooked lines.” It aptly describes the way God used Jim’s shortcomings and suffering to prepare him for the next chapter of his life which was devoted to making God known, loved, and served.

In 1985, Jim became a friend of Bill W. and this led him to live Cursillo at the Holy Cross Retreat House in Easton. The effect of both programs is best described as a “metanoia,” an ancient Greek word meaning “having a change of mind and heart.” They gave him new eyes, a new beginning, and a new life, always looking forward in hope, never backward in regret.

In 1988, Jim and his wife Terry founded My Brother's Keeper, a nonprofit which delivers furniture, food, and Christmas gifts free of charge to those in need. They began the work simply and humbly in the basement of their home in Taunton with no financial resources. Today, the charity has two distribution facilities, 12 delivery vehicles, 20 staff, 5,000 volunteers, and has made more than 225,000 deliveries serving nearly a million people in Christ’s name— truly a miracle!

The mission of My Brother’s Keeper “To bring the Love and Hope of Jesus Christ to those we serve” was also Jim’s personal mission. He believed in a God who is an unconditionally loving parent, always ready to help His children without judgement. Jim’s greatest desire in life was to introduce others to the God he loved so much. He and Terry came full circle and for more than twenty years, they were integral parts of a four-person administrative team that ran the Holy Cross Retreat House and hosted hundreds of Cursillo, Matt Talbot, and Pre-Cana retreats.

Jim’s personal relationship with Jesus gave him an extraordinary capacity to gravitate towards people that others would often turn away from. Jim saw everyone as a fellow child of God and in recent years, he ministered to Brockton’s homeless through a work he started called On the Street Ministry.

Jim is survived by his wife of 53 years, Terry Orcutt— his rock and greatest blessing—as well as his children and their spouses, Maureen and Kim Staley, Jim and Jane Orcutt, Joe and Mary Orcutt, and his grandchildren, Al, Eben, Nathan, Erin Orcutt, Nick and Erica Staley, and great grandson Lucas Churchill along with several nieces and nephews.

He is also survived by his sister Patricia Peters of Abington, MA and preceded in death by his parents Mary and James Orcutt, Sr., and his siblings Frances Orcutt, Grover "Smokey" Orcutt, Elsie Johnson, Maureen McKenna, Clifford Orcutt, and Charlotte Vernaglia.

Jim loved his family deeply and especially cherished his role as a parent and grandparent, which he affectionately called “the memory-making business.” He will always be fondly remembered by his family for his care and concern, his love and loyalty, and his sense of humor. Jim was a master storyteller. He had a joke for every occasion, and he brought so much fun and laughter to family gatherings and everywhere he went.

Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, January 31 from 3-7 PM at Holy Cross Church, 225 Purchase St, South Easton, MA. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Holy Cross Church on Thursday, February 1 at 10:30 AM. All are welcome. Livestream of Jim’s funeral Mass will also be available at www.HolyCrossEaston.org/Masses

In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Jim’s life can be made to My Brother’s Keeper, PO Box 338, Easton, MA 02356 or www.MyBrothersKeeper.org/Donate

“Every waking breath is an opportunity to make the love of God known.”

— Jim Orcutt

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Visiting hours:
Wednesday, January 31 from 3-7 PM
Holy Cross Church
225 Purchase Street
South Easton, MA.

A Mass of Christian Burial:
Thursday, February 1 at 10:30 AM
Holy Cross Church
All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Jim’s life can be made to:
My Brother’s Keeper
PO Box 338
Easton, MA 02356
or by donating online.

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Memories & condolences


Please feel free to leave any special thoughts, memories, and condolences to Jim’s family as you wish.



Alemayehu
February 15, 2:12pm
Thank you Jim for positively impacting my life. You were a great mentor for me. I will always remember the time we spent together and your words of wisdom will remain fresh in my heart and mind ♥️ Lots of Love ❤️ My condolences to Terry!
Alison
February 1, 12:02pm
Thank you Jim for helping me when I was in so much pain. You have left a mark on my soul and I will continue to pay it forward. ❤️
Michelle Merlino
February 1, 7:33am
Jim you have left a void in my soul but you have also left so much inspiration. I will forever be grateful to have had you in my life. May we all take a piece of you through each day. Prayers and love to Terry and family.
John
January 30, 9:02pm
Met him for first time at an overnight IVC Retreat a couple of years ago, and had the opportunity to speak to him alone for a few minutes. A very nice man.
Marie Jo Dorcy
January 30, 12:53pm
Jim you will be remembered always and lived in our hearts forever. Thank you for everything you taught us. Especially how to be a good servant of Jesus Christ. You will always be loved by everyone who sets foot at the Brothers Keeper ministry. May your soul rest in eternal peace. Terry I am so sorry for your loss, my condolences to you and the rest of the family.🌹
Kim Francescon
January 29, 8:12pm
Jim, I will never forget you. Thank you for rekindling my spirit when it was flickering. 💙
Susan M.
January 28, 3:01pm
Rest in Peace Jim. You touched so many lives. I know the Angels recieved you and you are singing all the praises with them.
Anonymous
January 28, 2:59pm
Your spiritual guidance will always be in our hearts. Kevin C Talbot 5 brother God Bless you Jim
Rose, Michael Barcellos and Family
January 28, 9:30am
We will miss Jimmy but know he is in God's arms. Our condolences go out to the family of Jimmy much love and prayers.
joey
January 27, 7:25pm
it will be not the some without jim it put happy face with all the voleer to help there all kinds sevices to help the lord you needs the sevices who are homeless , or just need help jim and terry had good idea make this program for my borther keeper , in the back bone of the year 2009 i volunteer my time ever monday and every friday i go to the house of possibites and he love to joke around he loves all the volunteer , there is god here jim he is tailking to you , we are here and we are right next to you hear your pray our lord , terry i hope M.B.K. still be here with us , we love be family jim and your hearts - but its about the kinds what jim did all the work and you , love ya jim where ever you are fly away to god
Mary and Scott
January 27, 4:18pm
Although we only met Jim a few times his love and passion for everyone was felt. We know he will be missed by many but will shine on in everyone's heart. Jim, Jane, Kristen and Lucas we are so sorry for your loss. Know that we love you and send hugs and prayers.
Rocco J Bruno
January 27, 4:00pm
A few words cannot merely describe the positive effect Jim had on my life. In the late 90’s I went on a Matt Talbot retreat and then followed with living Cursillo. Jim, always had a joke and a smile and continually guided me. I LOVED serving meals at the Retreat House for the next dozen years. All of my blessings to the Orcutt family.
Susan lowe
January 27, 12:19am
Jim will be missed by so many 💔
June
January 26, 10:34pm
I offer my condolences to the family, friends and fellow co-labororers and servants of Christ. Although I never met Jim personally, how grateful I am for his obedience to his calling to be a vessel for Christ. My Brotbers Keeper came to Wrentham with brand-new twin beds, pillows and comforter sets when God called me to be an emergency foster parent to severely abused 8 year-old twins. They loved their new beds! "Obey God, and leave all the consequences to Him." Charles F. Stanley InTouchMinistries.org
Kristen Esson
January 26, 9:39pm
I will be forever grateful for being greeted by Jim when I walked into the retreat house for the first time and hearing him say, “Welcome Home.” I was instantly at ease and felt a sense of peace. Jim taught me about the journey from head to heart. He recognized something in me, before I recognized it in myself . Through guidance and love he became such an incredible part of my journey. It was no secret that I referred to him as Jesus Jim and I say that with the utmost respect for his mission and how he delivered the message . Last year when I went on a Matt Talbot retreat it was no coincidence I stayed on Nuns Ally and Jim shared with me that I was in the very room he lived Cursillo. What a blessing Jim and Terry and the entire MBK family has been to so many. Jim’s spirit, light and love will continue to radiate through hearts of all that knew him and beyond . RIP my friend ! Love and prayers to all family and friends and my deepest sympathies.
Louise
January 26, 3:48pm
Hello My Unce Jimmys life is a wealth of love and kind memories. As a child and young girl back then I remember walking home with my friend June and when we saw the blue Enterprise truck parked in front we would jump up with smiles on our faces and start running. Uncle Jimmy was there. Uncle Jimmy is here jumping up and down clapping and laughing. We both were excited. And happy in knowing we were going to see him again. Uncle Jim and my mom Charlotte would be naturally talking and laughing at our kitchen table. The truck door of The Enterprise truck would be open and filled with folded newspapers he delivered. Our house would be filled with hilarious laughter coffee and smiles. Otherwise would be a plain day. He used to tickle me until I landed on the floor and broke out with laughter during all times no matter what happened. He loved all of us kids when we lived in the project. I remember Sundays everyone in bed. Mom and my father slept. Mom told me to go to church mikes away to me Saint Edwards on North Main when I did not even believe or know what church was. I got up. I got dressed woke up my little sister Diane and dressed and walked a mile down Richmond street Hill and sometimes on a bike with my sister Diane and June on the handlebars and went to Adult mass front row in Latin. Little did I knew nothing except bow kneel and sign of the cross copy what everyone else did as adults. No children were there. I thought we were in the wrong mass. Just on uncle Jim’s word and say so. I only went to church because i was afraid Uncle jimmy would find out I did not go and that would make him unhappy. I am still a Catholic Christian today because he planted the seed of love and faith in something that I could not see and highly spiritual. I really think it was my Uncle Jim gave me Christianity and something higher to believe in the just living in my house. When mom was visiting family in Ogunquit Maine there were no hospitals in Ogunquiit and she was taken to York Hospital. My uncle Jimmy was only eight years old he rode his bicycle miles away from Ogunquit to York to be the first person to see me born. He was a very special person to me as I grew up. There are many memories of love and kindness that I have to hold onto in mind and heart whenever his name is mentioned. Some will come back to me throughout my life knowing my Uncle Jim. I am deeply depressed and sad about my uncle jimmy going away and I’ll never see him around again with his hope love and jokes and kind heart. He is in a dear place in my heart. Love Louise
Anonymous
January 26, 1:35pm
I had been introduced to Jim over the years, but didn't know him well. In 2022 at a Christmas wrapping session, Jim came over to me to talk. At first, we just chit-chatted about the start of MBK. Then, Jim stared talking about how God loves us like we love our own children and how God is there for us even when we can't see him. Little did he know, that last year I had had a complicated miscarriage and two resulting surgeries. I was so mad at God, not just for losing my baby but for the continued suffering afterwards. I was questioning my faith and truly feeling lost. I didn't share any of this with him, but I started to cry. He hugged me and said he would be back. He returned later and gave me a crucifix, the same one you give out to clients. I don't know how he knew I needed so much to hear his words. I do believe God works through people, and just maybe reached out to me through Jim. Jim and MBK truly embody hope and give it to people who need it most. I wish you all at MBK and Jim's family peace in knowing what an impact he had, and knowing that he is in good hands with God.