James A. Heimbach II
August 24, 1942 - September 21, 2018
Service Date: October 6, 2018
A service celebrating his life with close friends and relatives will be held Saturday, October 6th at 10:00 a.m. at the Denmark Congregational Church, 70 Main Street, in Denmark
James A. “Captain Weather” Heimbach, II, 76, of Springvale, cashed in his chips September 21, 2018 after living an engaged and curious life up to his dying day.
James was born to Dr. James and Elizabeth (Wright) Heimbach August 24, 1942, and grew up in Juniata and Altoona, PA where James enjoyed (to the chagrin of his mother) shooting rats from his bedroom window. James reportedly did not enjoy playing piano but was very good at it anyway. A consummate nerd, James earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics from Franklin and Marshall College in 1964, and his Master’s and PhD in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma in 1970 and 1972, respectively.
Jim also served in the U. S. Air Force and spent time stationed in Germany. In the midst of all this education, he met and married his wife Linda, who would be his best friend through 48 years of marriage.
After serving in the U. S. Air Force, Jim began his 15-year tenure at Montana State University as a research professor of Applied Meteorology at Montana State University, in Bozeman. After that, Jim taught at the University of North Carolina, Asheville where he was head of the Department of Meteorology until he retired and moved to Maine to be closer to his grandchildren.
Jim was active in meteorology research, with a focus on weather modification, specifically hail suppression, as a means of protecting crops. Jim was very proud of the “Cloud Ice Nuclei Counter”, a.k.a. the “Death Ray”, which he built and maintained for use in facilitating cloud seeding.
Jim was a brilliant scientist, but often claimed that he really wanted to grow up to be a redneck. Jim had many hunting adventures in the Missouri Breaks of Eastern Montana fueled by entire sides of bacon, and packages of Oreos, M&Ms, and cigars. In Jim’s spare time, he enjoyed building replica flintlock and cap lock guns, and ridiculously overpowered potato howitzers.
The combination of a sharp sense of humor, solid understanding of thermodynamics, and a love of explosions entertained and/or horrified his children, grandchildren and many friends and neighbors.
Jim was an avid cyclist. He would commute in all weather, so long as it was warmer than 10 ° F. Jim enjoyed bicycle tours with several extended trips under his belt, biking all day in blue jeans and a T-shirt before ducking into the woods to camp.
Jim is survived by his children, James Heimbach III and his wife Debbie of Springvale, ME, and Katrina Carus and her husband Franklin of Brownfield, ME. His grandchildren, Taylor Heimbach-Ferreira and husband Tony, of Sanford, ME; Bryant Heimbach of Mansfield, CT; Chase Carus of Portland, and Samantha Carus of Brownfield, ME, and his sister, Frau Professor Susan Neumuller of Seekirchen, Austria. He just missed meeting his first great-grandchild, Everett James Ferreira.
A service celebrating his life with close friends and relatives will be held on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the Denmark Congregational Church, 70 Main Street, in Denmark, ME.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Jim’s memory may be made to the Parkinson’s Research at The Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD. 21741-5014 or the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, 11 Hunnewell Rd., Scarborough, ME. 04074.
The Autumn Green Funeral Home is respectfully handling arrangements.