George C. Whittier
Washington — George Clyde Whittier, 86, loving husband of Helen Paul Whittier and dear father of Scott and Debbie, passed away peacefully Saturday, March 30, 2013, at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport after a brief illness.
George was born June 12, 1926, in Seal Harbor. He was the beloved son of Arthur Foss and Gladys Higgins Whittier. He grew up on “the Island”, in Brewer and eventually settled in Rockland, where he met his wife and made many lifelong friendships.
George enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps at age 17 on Nov. 15, 1943 and served his country proudly until his honorable discharge on Dec. 21, 1946. He oversaw a battalion of 45 soldiers and was responsible for the maintenance and safe operation of 11 war planes in Japan. His military service was dear to his heart and he greatly enjoyed sharing stories and memories with his military brothers. George was a proud member of the Washington Post of the VFW.
Following his discharge from the Army Air Corps, George returned to Rockland and became engaged to Helen, with whom he danced beautifully and often. They were married Nov. 12, 1950 in Rockland. He truly enjoyed his hometown, and in his youth, he had a lot of fun playing semi-pro basketball at the Rockland Rec Center. Following his father’s example, he was a proud member of the Masons and also enjoyed the fraternity of the Rockland Lodge of Elks.
George shared many stories of his working life after returning home from Japan. He was particularly reminiscent of his work at Bicknell Manufacturing where he was trained as a machinist, in part, by his father-in-law, Robert William Paul, and at Nelson’s Garage, working for Ellery Nelson. In the 1950s George purchased Rockland Auto Supply from Maynard Marston, which he ran successfully and with great pride until he sold the business in 1979. All of George’s family and many friends will recall how much fun he had running "the store." He was a true, hometown businessman and would answer his phone at all hours of the day or night to help a customer.
George was the consummate Mainer and do-it-yourselfer. He could, and did, repair anything and everything that needed fixing (sometimes with a slight grumble, but always with a strong willingness to provide advice and, in his later years, to supervise which he did with gusto and satisfaction). He built wonderful shaker style furniture and was very generous with his craft, sharing his creations and lending his skills to many throughout his life. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to help a friend and his friends responded in kind. He and Helen lived in Washington in the home they built together with help from many friends. Here they have enjoyed countless lively gatherings.
George, following in the footsteps of his father, was a gifted gardener and had special talents with the land. The Christmas trees that the family planted together stand strong and hardy, fostered by George’s hand. His trees will continue to thrive under the caring hand of his devoted friend, David Williams. Helen especially remembers how much joy George took in his raspberry patch every year. George was also a knowledgeable sportsman, and spent many happy hours and days hunting, fishing and motoring around the back roads of Maine. He shared his love of Moosehead Lake with his wife, kids and friends and for that they will always be grateful. It would be an understatement to say that George enjoyed every single day of his life.
George’s parents, Arthur and Gladys and his sisters, Ina Mayo Webber and Ida Mayo MacDonald, predeceased him. He is survived by his wife of 62 years Helen Frances Paul Whittier; his beloved son Scott Whittier wife Cheryl; his beloved daughter, Debra Whittier; and his most special grandson, Michael Arvidson. Several nieces, nephews, cousins and innumerable friends also survive Dad.
His family said they take great comfort (and a laugh or two) in looking back over the many special memories of times with friends and family. They would like to extend a very special thank you for the respectful care and friendship of all the nurses and aides on Med/Surg South at Pen Bay Medical Center and at Quarry Hill. In George’s last week, Dr. Ira Mandel provided great comfort and counsel to Scott and Debbie — they would like him to know that his compassion was a profound blessing and will be forever remembered.
In keeping with George’s wishes, a Chapel Committal Service will be held at the Maine Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery, 163 Mount Vernon Road in Augusta on Tuesday, April 16, at 1 p.m. Following the service, the family invites Dad’s wide circle of friends and extended family to gather at the Rockland Lodge of Elks from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the spirit of friendship and fun, as Dad enjoyed so very much throughout his life.
Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland. To share a memory or condolence with George’s family, please visit his Book of Memories at bchfh.com.