James F. Muench
James F. Muench of Cable
Gardens, Ipswich, who had worked in fields ranging from the nascent
aero-space industry to freelance photographer for local newspapers, died
Thursday, January 20, 2010, in the Salem Hospital with two of his three
sons at his side. He was 83.
Mr. Muench was born to Hugo and
Helen (Harrison) Muench in St. Louis, Mo., on April 16, 1926. His
childhood included travel and living in Central and South America in the
1930s while his father worked for the Rockefeller Foundation researching
and treating smallpox, malaria, encephalitis and other diseases.
Mr. Muench served in the U.S.
Army in Italy in 1944 and during the reconstruction of Europe after
World War II. He earned his bachelor's degree at Haverford College and
continued studies at a university in Stockholm. He held a job that he
had described as "studying Soviet agriculture" from a small village in
Finland above the Arctic Circle before being recruited by the air
attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki to join the new Air Force. In
this position, he held the rank of captain, worked for the intelligence
department and briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Soviet economics.
After leaving active service,
Mr. Muench worked for aero-space and defense contractors throughout the
country. At various times he held positions with financial firms, as
director of charitable organizations and, in the late 1970s, freelance
photographer for the newspapers serving Ipswich. He followed the
development of computers from their punch-card days and eventually
helped set up information systems for the commonwealth and private
Mr. Muench was active with
efforts to keep open the Cable Emergency Service in Ipswich. He worked
often with the Republican Town Committee. He at times attended religious
services at various Unitarian churches.
He is survived by three sons,
Erik and wife Margaret of Groveland, Karl and wife Deborah of Ipswich,
and Kris of Atlanta, Ga.; and four grandchildren and three nieces. He
was predeceased by his former wife, Mary Joan (Beach) Muench.
Plans for services are
incomplete, but expected to be private. Arrangements are by
Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, High Street, Ipswich.