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April 19, 1943 - September 25, 2023 - James Albert McMaster (Hulett’s Landing, NY) left the world right where he wanted to be, at his home in Hulett’s Landing.
After his birth in Los Angeles, CA, his family moved to Ohio where he spent much of his childhood learning about the outdoors, camping and canoeing on the Olentangy River. He graduated from Upper Arlington High School and then went on to receive his Bachelors of Welding Engineering in 1966 at The Ohio State University. When he moved to Groton, CT to take a job as a Metallurgical Engineer at General Dynamics, Electric Boat Division, he also met his future wife, Trudie Trail. They married in December 1969 in Mystic, CT.
James and Trudie moved to Sparta, NJ where he worked at Titanium Metal Corporation as the Market Development Engineer and Manager of Commercial Research. Son Robert was born in 1971, shortly before James became the Chief Engineer at Titanium Industries. Daughter Molly came along in 1976, just as James was elected Vice-President of Operations and Engineering, while also finishing a Program for Management Development through Harvard Business School in 1977.
In 1982, James and Trudie moved again to Glens Falls, NY where he worked for many years with Kamyr (eventually Ahlstrom) and his expertise in titanium metals allowed him to travel the world. Through Ahlstrom, his work friends became family, and he built an extra dining table used once a year to fit dozens for Thanksgiving.
After retirement, James started MC Consulting. He specialized in the development and implementation of titanium applications in the industrial corrosion market, including titanium specifications and standards, energy, mining and extractive metallurgy, chemical and hydrocarbon processing, and marine – undersea applications. He would also go on to create several patents and write innumerable papers and publications, although the extent of these isn’t even grasped by his family. He had grown into one of the foremost titanium metals experts in the world, but was an extremely humble man, not even telling his family of all of his accolades. His passion for it all started with his first job at Electric Boat, working on those submarines.
Eventually, James and Trudie moved permanently to “the Cedars” in Hulett’s Landing, where he considered himself only a steward of the 1880 Victorian home they began to fix and renovate, piece by piece. They both became a large part of the close-knit Hulett’s Landing community, and James was a driving force in the founding of the Friends of Historic Hulett’s Landing to preserve and teach the history of “the Landing.” He was recently named President Emeritus of the FHHL. He loved that community and wanted others to love it in the same way.
Those who knew Papa Jim, as he was known to his grandchildren, saw a man who loved to tinker and fix things on his ever-growing chore list. He never bought something he could build and rarely threw something out that had more life left in it, much to his children’s dismay. He loved to read with his Silver Lab, Penric, by his side, and was especially proud of his sister, Lois McMaster Bujold, an award-winning science fiction author, having read some of her books dozens of times. (Penric was named after the character Penric the Sorcerer in Lois’ books, and their last dog was named Cazeril after another of her characters.)
James is predeceased by his parents Robert and Laura McMaster, as well as his wife Trudie. He is survived by his brother L. Roy McMaster, and sister Lois McMaster Bujold; son Robert (Aimee) and daughter Molly (Sergei); and grandchildren Tim, Johnny, Jordan, Kyril, Maks, and the newest addition to the family, Luca, whose official adoption he was able to celebrate just a few weeks ago.
A celebration of life will take place at “the Cedars” in Hulett’s Landing on Saturday, October 7, 2023 from 1-4pm. All are welcome.
The family would like to express heartfelt gratitude to their extended Hulett’s family, who checked in on, dined with, or shared a glass of wine with Papa Jim on occasion. A special thank you also to Jennifer Juckett, who has become a part of our family.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions might be made to the Friends of Historic Hulett’s Landing, PO Box 82, Hulett’s Landing, NY 12841 or online at https://historichuletts.org/join/ (You might even consider joining FHHL in his memory.) or to The Robert C. McMaster Scholarship in Welding Engineering, c/o The Ohio State University Foundation, University Square North, 14E 15th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201 or online at https://www.giveto.osu.edu/makeagift/details/604702?Source_Code=AA-0-OSUAASociety-ON-S&Fund=604702
Papa Jim leaves behind a living legacy of hundreds of people with whom he came into contact. For him, give your family a hug and tell them you love them. Then do something to leave the world a better place, like Papa Jim.