James Neal Preble

CORNVILLE – James Neal Preble, 69, died unexpectedly June 7, 2022 at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta after a short illness. He was born in Exeter, N.H. on May 22, 1953, the son of Dorothy Mildred Preble Reisner and Edwin G. Preble.

He was a manager at J.C. Penney’s for many years in the Skowhegan, Bangor, and Waterville stores.

Jim moved to Skowhegan with his father in 1963 when his father became the music teacher and band director at Skowhegan. When the family moved to Newport two years later, he started school there. He graduated from Nokomis Regional High School in 1971, where he was president of the class. He was very involved in many civic, music, and drama organizations while at school. He also sang in the Congregational Church choir.

He received an electrical engineering associate’s degree from the University of Maine in 1973. He lived in Ellsworth, Maine for a brief time when he worked for Wyman’s Blueberries. He then worked as an associate at Mammoth Mart in Ellsworth where he met his wife of many years, Joanne Howard Preble. They moved to Cornville in 1974 to a fixer-upper farm. Jim was always renovating, improving and maintaining the farm he loved.

Jim first worked at the J.C. Penney store in Skowhegan when it opened there, and when it closed, transferred to the new Bangor Mall Penney’s where he was a buyer and manager. Later, he moved to the Waterville store to be nearer his family. Before transferring to the Bangor store, he enjoyed being part of community groups, like the Skowhegan Community Band and the Community Jazz Band, where he played the trombone.

He completed his education to become an electrician at KVCC and worked with Travers Electric Inc. following his retirement from J.C. Penney. Later, he managed the Bridgeside Market convenience store in Norridgewock. He also owned and operated the Koala-Tee Printz Digital Printing and Embroidery business on Water Street in Skowhegan in the same building his wife, Sal, established her Top Hat Dance Studio.

He always loved to watch and support his children and grandchildren in their sports and events. He was always present for them.

He was predeceased by his mother and father, and his nephew, Joshua Alioto. He is survived by his wife, Sally Preble of Cornville; his daughter, Jessica Landry and her husband Derek Landry of Oakland, his son, A.J. Preble of Long Island, NY, his stepdaughter, Tasha Underwood and her husband Zeb Underwood of Cornville; his brother, Edwin G. Preble, Jr. of Windsor, SC, his sisters, Sheila Alioto of Wildwood, Mo. and Gigi Hynd of Thomaston; his grandchildren, Julian, Keira and Jaxon of Oakland, and Annalise, Aven and Abrielle of Cornville; his nieces, Stephanie Alioto of Wildwood, Mo., Gabrielle Alioto of St. Louis, Mo., Joanna Hynd of South Portland, and Katherine Mann of Skowhegan, his nephews, James and Peter Hynd of Thomaston; his great-grandnephews and niece, Miguel and Ana Guevara of Wildwood, Mo. and Stone Alioto of St. Louis, Mo.

There will be private services held on July 24 in Skowhegan.

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