Jay Sherman Hoar (1933-2023)

3 mins read

SALEM, Mass. – Jay Sherman Hoar, 89, of Farmington Maine, achieved his karma-kismet as an emeritus professor on April 12, 2023 in Salem, MA. He was born May 15, 1933 in Sandy River Plantation ME to Joel & Harriet Batson-Calor Hoar, and grew up with his brother and sister (Luther & Jane) in Rangeley, delivering newspapers and working at his family-owned Lakeside Theatre.

His educational accomplishments started by graduating from Rangeley High in 1952, UMaine in 1956 (BA English) and Middlebury College in 1964 (MA English). He served in the US Navy 1956-1960, with 33 months of sea duty aboard the USS Macon (CA-132).

Jay married Arline M. Keene of West Auburn in June 1959, and the two of them traveled Maine as he worked at a variety of high schools and the Maine Maritime Academy. They welcomed their daughter Sheryl and settled in Temple when he joined UMF faculty for a 33-year career teaching a variety of English classes, (not history like many are to believe). He was well known on campus for his unique bow ties, his dancing on books in the classroom, and his good-humored (and loquacious) presence. Jay (or JJ, nicknamed by the neighbors) was a Temple institution, living beside its town hall for decades, building his own log cabin on the property after his paperwork overtook their home and Arline made him create a space to house his vast quantity of research. He loved Franklin County and Temple and the life it offered his family.

His research generated several published volumes, including Small-town Motion Pictures (1969), New England’s Last Civil War Veterans (1976), The South’s Last Boys in Gray (1986), Callow Brave and True (1999), As Maine as It Gets (2004), Sunset and Dusk of the Blue and the Gray (2010, a 2000 page Civil War trilogy that comprised 40 years of research). He would annually leave Temple, days after UMF’s spring graduation, and head south and west for research, following leads, meeting Civil War descendants, and immersing himself into their personal stories and experiences. Jay left his personal library to the Bethel Historical Society.

He is survived by daughter Sheryl and her husband Trace Robertson of Lynn, MA; a sister Jane Charpentier of MT; and several nieces, nephews and dear friends. He was predeceased by Arline in 2008 after 48 years of marriage, and spent several senior years with his companion Arliss Gould of Farmington.

Please join us on April 23 from 11am-2pm for a Memorial Visitation at the Wiles Remembrance Center, 137 Farmington Falls Road, Farmington. Interment will be in the North Auburn Cemetery beside Arline in a private family ceremony. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to either the Franklin County Animal Shelter or the Bethel Historical Society. Memories may be shared in his Book of Memories at www.wilesrc.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Jay Hoar dead? I can’t believe it and indeed in my own mind it’s not true. His works, his vast vision including unique writings are immortal!
    I do recall first meeting Jay when I was doing some of my own historical research and he was on the English faculty at UMF. As an inexhaustible and indefatigable sleuth trying to solve countless Civil War and other historical mysteries there will never be another like him.

  2. Mr Hoar was indeed my favorite English professor. With a mischievous
    and gentle nature he made literature study a joy. Rest in peace Mr. Hoar you did your job well.

  3. I had him as a professor on my first stint in college. Never forget his insights on English or his florescent doubleknit suit coats…Great man.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.