James Orr Soden
Bristol Press Retiree
Litchfield – James Orr Soden passed away on January 14, 2021 at his daughter and son-in-laws home, Bonnie and Phil, surrounded by his family.
Jim was born in Mooers Forks, New York on January 8, 1931. He grew up on farms all his life. He was married to Dorothy Mae Soden for 69 years. They married April 26, 1952 in Plainville, CT. Jim and Dottie met in high school in Plainville, CT and were “tied to the hip” ever since.
Jim joined and served in the United States Navy during the Korean War from July 2, 1951 to July 1, 1955. He was head of communications aboard his Navy Ship, the US Navy LST 1032. He received an honorable discharge. He then went to school to be a printer. He was hired at Washington Preston news as a printer in Washington, Connecticut and lived there for 2 years while raising his 4 year old son, Jimmie and his 8 month old daughter, Bonnie. Later Jim and Dottie moved to Bristol, Connecticut where Jim became a linotype operator and proofreader for the Bristol Press in Bristol, Connecticut. He was also head of the union there. His second son Randy was born in 1961. During his 32 years at the Bristol Press he built his 1st home in Bristol, Connecticut where he lived for 15 years. He then built their second home in Litchfield, Connecticut in 1978. This is where Jim always wanted to be, in the country. He always wanted a barn bigger than his house. He became involved with the Polled Hereford Association. He raised Hereford cows and bulls. He had upwards of 22 head at one time becoming very knowledgeable and successful. His very 1st calf cow was “miss deering” whom took 1st place in many Connecticut state fairs including the Big E in Springfield, Massachusetts. She came in 5th place in Kentucky’s state fair, which was huge competition as was Springfield. He was very successful and won many ribbons with his cows throughout his 20 years of raising Hereford cows and was very successful in the farming community. Loving farming, the way he did, he raised and sold beef, lamb, meat birds, turkeys, goat chickens for eggs, homing pigeons as a hobby, and dwarf bunnies which he sold at pet stores. He also went to auctions to buy and sell animals for himself and customers. He had two horses, Corky and Spike. Jim and Dottie loved to ride and take a lunch for picnics. Jim was an active member of the United Methodist Church in Litchfield, Connecticut where he maintained the church and the property.
Jim worked two and three jobs in order to support his family and allow Dottie to be a stay at home mom for some time. Jim retired from the Bristol Press in 1993. He was an amazing husband and father.
Jim loved his family and farming and living in Litchfield. He loved the outdoors and hunting. He taught his boys to hunt small game and deer, etc. He took the family to Cape Cod on vacation for years. Jim and Dottie loved traveling across country in their RV’s with their dogs and did so for 10 years.
James is predeceased by his wife, Dorothy Mae Soden, and his son, Randall William Soden. He leaves behind a son, James Orr Soden II, a daughter in Law, Patricia Babcock, a daughter Bonnie Perrotti and husband Philip Perrotti, a sister Barbara Lostocco, two brothers; William Soden and wife Jeannie Soden and Kenneth Soden and wife Barbara Soden, two granddaughters, Amy (Soden) Armstrong and husband Tim Armstrong, Christina Pratt and partner Raye Mutcherson and two great grandchildren; Brianna Armstrong (16) and Jacob Armstrong (14).
Calling Hours will be Friday, January 22, 2021 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Thurston Rowe Funeral Home, 283 Torrington Road, Litchfield, Connecticut 06759. Burial will be held in East Cemetery in the spring, date and time to be announced.
Memorial contributions may be made to Litchfield County 4-H Foundation, 843 University Drive, Torrington, CT 06790 or Hartford Healthcare at Home (hospice), 680 Main Street, Watertown, Connecticut 06795.