Obituary of J. F. Worrell, 1951
St. Croix Courier
Dr. J. F. Worrell Claimed by Death in St. Andrews. Photo. History of column.
The death of Dr. James Frederick Worrell, dentist and a former mayor of SA, occurred at
this home on Montague Street in the early hours of Thursday, May 3, after a recurrence of an
old illness which had confined him to bed for several weeks.
Dr. Worrell for many years past had written one of the most widely read features of The
Saint Croix Courier, a column of news and comment brightened by his keen sense of humor,
insight into human nature and broad knowledge of many fields of learning. His last column was
published March 8.
A native of Charlotte county, he was a son of the late Robert and Martha (McCartney)
Worrell and received his education at the Charlotte County Grammar School here and the
Provincial Normal School in Fredericton. After graduating he taught in the public schools of the
Province for a number of years.
Later he studied dentistry at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery where he
graduated with honors in 1909, and returning home opened practice in St. Andrews which he
had carried on for more than 40 years.
Dr. Worrell was formerly a member of the St. Andrews Town Council and served for five
and one-half years as mayor, but there were few community interests in which he did not have a
hand. He was a member of St. marks’ Lodge, F &AM, vice-president of the Men’s Club, a
member and former officer of Wesley United Church, a leading spirit in the St. Andrews Band,
and active in the Knights of Pythias. He was in addition a sports enthusiast who played
basketball and other games when a youth and in later years became a keen follower of hockey
and baseball. Well versed in nature study, he loved the out-of-doors.
No citizen could have been more enthusiastically loyal to the community and all its
activities; he loved SA, was proud of it, and was tireless in his efforts to promote what he
considered its best interests. Dr. Worrell is survived by his wife, formerly Miss Charlotte Hartt, a
daughter of the late T. A. Hartt of SA, a member of parliament for Charlotte County in past
years, and Mrs. Hartt; a son, Donald Worrell; a brother, Dr. S. A. Worrell, retired superintendent
of schools of Saint John ; and a granddaughter, Mary. An only sister, Mrs. R. D. Rigby, died in
1942. (desc of funeral service)
News Notes of St. Andrews
A Farewell Tribute to Dr. J. F. Worrell
[each section below is from a separate contributor]
In the early hours before the deawn of Thursday, May 3, while most of the world was sleeping,
there passed from the life of this community one whose place can never be filled.
Dr. J. F. Worrell, more affectionatley known as “Doc,” and the author of Shiretown Items,
went quietly and peacefully to his eternal reward. Sincere sorrow was felt by the peope of St.
Andrews at his passing and keen regret over his loss will be expressed by the unnumerable
friends in far flung plces of the land, when the sad news reaches them in the columns of this
Shiretown Items was th ecolumn through which the genial Doctor made a host of friends
far and near, and the news items contained in his column were extremely interesting, not only to
the many who summer here, but expecially to all former residents who will always claim St.
Andrews their home.
His desire to help others became evident in early life when Dr. Worrell enterered
teaching for a time. Apart from devoting mch of his tiem to his family and his chosen profession,
dentistry, Dr. Worrell followed up many ambitions to the fullest extent.
Endowed with a rugged physique, he excelled in many forms of athletics. Probably his greatest
achievement along hese lines was his basketball prowess when he was a star of the famous St.
Andrws Shamrock teams in the early nineteen hundreds. These teams were acclaimed superior
to all clubs in Eastern Canada and the New England States at that time.
Baseball, golf, track and gymnastics found him at his best. His love for baseball never
diminished even to the last. He became an extremely ardent hockey fan in hthe later years of
his life when that sport developed in St. Andrews. It can be truthfully said he was the staunchest
supporter of the movment which built the two arenas here and installed artificial ice. To the
Senators down through the years he endeared himself as their most loyal friend.
A great lover of the outdoors, he was a recognized authority on bird life and wild flwoers
as well as delviering more than lightly into astrology. [sic]
Dr. Worrell was exceptionall well read on many subject and possessed a keen intellect and a
mind given to serious thoughts. Often he could be found enjoying the engrossing game of
chess, at which he was a past master.
Taking an active part in civic affairs, he filled he office so alderman and mayor for a
number of years, during which time he lent untiring energy and thoughts to many efforts which
would benefit his fellow citizens and prove a beterment to his beloved St. Andrws. Music, too,
was in his soul. He was fond of the classics as well as the old songs and ballads that never
grow old. An accomplished violinist and pianist, he was also a baritone player of the first order in
the St. Andrews Band, of which he was a lifteimemember.
The St. Andrews Band of tody owes its existence to Dr. Worrell. In the late years of the First
World War the Band was composed of men who were nearing the time of retirement. Sensing
this situation, he undertood the raining of a number of young boys, then in their teens, to
become future bandsmen. Many long and tiresome hours were spent in the proces by the ever
patien and understaing Doctor, but his efforts were finally rewarded. In thre or four years these
young boys succeeded the older men, who gradually dropped out. Some of those boys have
moved away, othes have passed on to the next world. Those who remain now form the nucleus
of the present band.
As a parting tribute to the memory of the late Dr. Worell, beloved eacher and friend, may
we the boys of the band, expressto his sorrowign family our feeling of sincere gratitude for his
teachign and guidance and for the realization that ife has been more complete and more deeply
appreciaed by us all for having known im so well. May he rest in peace.
Realizing that the splendid efforts of the late Dr. Worrell in writing a weekly column gave untold
pleasure to its many eaders at home and aborad, we will endeavor, for the time being, in our
own way to continue uder a new heading the good work, which as many of you may not realize,
was first started by Dr. Worrel’s son Donald. Illness foreced Don to give up this work and his
father then took up the task and continued on down through the years. It is only fitting tha tour
first ofering should be a last farewell to the late Dr. Worrell andit is with this tought in mind tha
twe have contributed this simle tribute which heads this column. Our work willnot, by any means
reach the high degree of excellence attainted by our predecessor, nor will there be any scholarly
dissertations such as he was quite capable of giving. Rather, we shall try to report and comment
on only such events and incidents that may prove of some interest and pleasan readin to those
swith enduring memories.
One who Loved His Fellowmen
For several days I’ve been trying to think of the right words to describe my sense of loss in the
death of my good friend, Dr. Worrell. His passing was a shock to me in spite of the fac tha tI
ealzied that he was a sick man and that his malady was one tha tmight prove fatal. We saw little
of each other in the flesh, but his column each week brought him near to me and I felt his kindly,
vital presence as I read the words wrought by his facile pen. As the cdlergyman who fficiated so
simply yet so effectively at his funeral eservices said, “He was a man of parts.” He had a gift
bestowed on few personsw of expressing himself in writing and his passional love of his native
town and his country, his friendlienss for people and his affection for all Gods’ creatures as
evinced inhis stories of birds and other forms of wilf life wer revealed in the items he penned
from week to week for the Courier. Our friendly wrangles on sports that were a source of
amusement and entertainment to many readers are no more now. We probably enjoyed them
as much as anybody who read them. I know tha this column wa soften the first thing I read in
the paper each week. Now that the opportunity is past I will always regreat not having seen ore
of him and talked with him more. His was a mellow philosophy of life although I am sure his own
lot had been charged with its share of vicissitudes and sorrows. His bereaved widow and other
relative heave my deepest sympathy. Ye hey may find consolation in the knowledge that his
Creator will deal generously with man who found so much that was lovable and endearing in his
fellow men and the life with which God blessed him.