Former Riverhead Councilman Jim Lull died Sunday night at the age of 72.
Mr. Lull was a Riverhead Town councilman from 1996 to 2002 and is perhaps best remembered for his involvement in many community projects.
Mr. Lull and his wife, Connie, were the coordinators of the Riverhead Country Fair in downtown Riverhead from 1983 to 2010, and their son, also named James, has run it the past two years along with Pat Mulcahy.
Mr. Lull also was instrumental in the Townscape group’s Friday night summer concert series in downtown Riverhead for many years; he helped start the Bread and More soup kitchen at the First Congregational Church in Riverhead, where he was a Deacon; he and Connie were coordinators of Riverhead’s Bicentennial Celebration in 1992; he was involved in a summer theater workshop in Riverhead from 1966 to 1986, and before he was elected to the Town Board in 1995, he had just retired from a career as an English teacher in Port Jefferson High School, where he taught for 32 years.
“Jim will be sorely missed,” said Barry Barth, who owns Barth’s Drugs in downtown Riverhead. “He set the bar for those of us that volunteer and try to bring vitality back into Riverhead.”
“Jim Lull was a quiet man but he was very much into making a difference for the people he came in contact with,” said Riverhead Councilman Jim Wooten, who has known Mr. Lull for more than 35 years.
“He’s done a lot. He just went about his business and never looked for accolades,” Mr. Wooten said.
Mr. Lull was the chairman of the First Congregational Church of Riverhead’s Deaconry Board back around 1990 when they met with the Interfaith Nutritional Network about starting the Bread and More soup kitchen at the church, Mr. Wooten said. The program still exists and now provides hot meals to those in need three nights a week.
“Jim was the type of person that didn’t just go along to get along,” said former Riverhead supervisor Jim Stark. “He put his heart and soul into any assignment he had.”
Mr. Stark was elected Riverhead Town supervisor in 1994, on a ticket that included Mr. Lull as a councilman.
Mr. Stark said his wife, Pat, and Lana Anker, were the first coordinators of the Riverhead Country Fair in 1976, and Mr. Lull and his wife took it over in 1983.
“The Country Fair was his baby,” Mr. Stark said. “Along with the treatment of animals. He was a great lover of dogs and always sought to improve our animal facilities in one way or another.”
Mr. Lull had heart problems for many years, and underwent heart surgery in 1995 and had a pacemaker implanted in 2002. For the past two years, he was required to carry around a mechanical pump to keep his heart going. The pump was implanted in a hospital in Rochester, right around the time the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce was honoring him as one of their people of the year. He died at Stony Brook University Medical Center.
Mr. Lull leaves behind his wife, Connie, and four grown children, James P Lull., Cynthia Lull Hill, Jason Lull, and Carrie Lull LaCombe, and many grandchildren.
“He was a man with a huge heart who taught me so much,” his son, James, posted on Facebook Monday morning.
Visiting hours will be on Thursday from 2-4 p.m., and 7-9 p.m. at the Reginald H Tuthill Funeral Home on East Main Street in Riverhead.
The funeral will be at the First Congregational Church of Riverhead on Friday at 11 a.m.