James F. McNiff, II, known to his family and friends as Jamie, died in York, Maine on May 23, 2021 after a brief illness. Jamie was born on March 2, 1953 in Quantico, Virginia where his father, John A. McNiff (Jack), was serving as a judge advocate for the U. S. Marine Corps. The fourth of eight children, to John and Maureen (Tyndall) McNiff, Jamie attended Saint John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, MA and then Salem (MA) High School where he was a distinguished student and all-star hockey player. Graduating from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in 1975, Jamie continued his graduate studies in Philosophy at Vanderbilt University and completed his JD degree from Vanderbilt University Law School. After practicing law in Nashville, Tennessee, Jamie returned to Massachusetts to join the family law firm in Peabody, Massachusetts and then established a private practice in York, Maine where in recent years he focused on writing appellate briefs for Maine and Massachusetts.
While practicing law, Jamie continued his philosophical research and writing, publishing his first paper, Aristotle and the Argument on Motion, in the International Philosophical Quarterly in 1992. With the support of faculty members during residencies at St. Louis University and the Catholic University of America, he initiated his multi-volume work that explores the origins of modern science in the thought of Aristotle. Scholarly passions dedicated to renewal of a traditional Catholic worldview were joined in Jamie’s life with magnificent humor and storytelling, insightful commentary on athletics, committed friendships, service to his adopted York community, and a loving attentiveness to extended family who keep him closely in memory.
Predeceased by his parents; sister, Margaret McNiff; brother in law, Thomas (Tom) Regan; Jamie is survived by his siblings Shaun McNiff and his wife Catherine Cobb, Gloucester, MA; Mary Anne Randlett, Rockport, MA; Maura Hepp and her husband Aloysius (Al) Hepp, Rocky River, OH; Thomas More (Tommy) McNiff, Quincy, MA; Jacqueline (Jackie) Regan, Chestnut Hill, MA; Jeanne Cronin and her husband Peter, Amesbury, MA; and many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
The family extends gratitude to Robert White, Rev. Robert Murray, the York Knights of Columbus, Rev. Scott Mower, St. Christopher’s Parish, and the healthcare professionals who assisted Jamie during his illness and life passage.
A funeral Mass will be Celebrated at 11am on Thursday, May 27th in St. Christopher Church, 4 Barrell Lane, York, Maine.
Burial will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery, Salem, MA.
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