James A. "Jake" Giknis

April 12, 2023
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James Giknis Obituary

James (Jake) Alexander Giknis, 70, passed away, as expected, Wednesday, April 12, 2023. He told his daughters repeatedly from a young age that regardless of how he went, everyone dies eventually and therefore not to say it was “unexpected.” Those that knew him knew Jake very much was a matter-of-fact man with a wicked but morbid sense of humor. Jake’s morning routine used to include a stop for coffee at Cumbie’s and to read the obits while there to see if he knew anyone. We’re sure it’s his hope that no one reading this had to pay for the newspaper to do so.

Jake was born on October 25, 1952 in Bath, Maine, the son of Albert and Dorothy Giknis, and grew up in Turners Falls, graduating from Turners Falls High School in 1971. While there, he played football until it started to interfere with his hunting and fishing time after school. Jake was an avid hunter and fisherman throughout his life, spending his summers at his family’s camp at Crescent Lake. As a young boy he idolized Davey Crockett and once, at the camp, left without telling his grandparents to go on an expedition with his sister, Mary, to catch a raccoon to make into a cap just like Davey. They were gone so long that everyone thought they were lost and the NH State Police were called, but they were just out adventuring, not lost. But that was Jake summed up - always ready and willing for an adventure. Some of his fondest memories include trips across the US and Canada, hunting bear, elk, moose, caribou and antelope. He had his prizes, including a full-size black bear, displayed in his living room for years, much to the shock of new guests.

Jake also loved to travel, having visited every US state except California. Jake loved to tell stories of trips from his younger days, often hopping in his truck with his dog, Maggie, for road trips across New England and Canada. He also had many stories that we’re sure he censored when retelling from nights at St. Kaz, the Rod & Gun and the Hollywood. His last big trip was with his daughter, Betsy, to the UK, Czech Republic and Lithuania.

Jake worked at Northeast Utilities from 1971 until his retirement in various positions. We could say more but we’re pretty sure he wouldn’t want us to elaborate on work. Post-retirement, he worked for many years at the Northampton Auction co-op, where he enjoyed working with farm animals and spending time with his coworkers and customers. Besides work, Jake was an avid farmer, raising Polled Herefords and making hay for many years on his farm. Throughout the years he indulged his daughters in also having horses, chickens, rabbits and various other animals.

Jake is predeceased by his parents. He leaves behind a sister, Mary, of Kennebunkport, ME, three daughters, Betsy of Cedar Park, TX, Allison of Enfield, CT and Katie of Waltham, MA, as well as his two dogs who may as well be daughters, Lulu and Daisy.

Jake did not want a funeral or to be buried. He requested his ashes be scattered somewhere besides his farm as, “He doesn’t want to think about work for eternity,” though he also did suggest his wood furnace as a cremation option. We won’t be granting that particular request, and his ashes will be scattered across the US in meaningful places. Final arrangements will be private. McCarthy Funeral Homes entrusted with Jake’s care and arrangements. For those who wish to share remembrances of Jake, you are encouraged to visit his Tribute Wall


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