Cornelius Garrett “Garry” Houtsma, U.S. Coast Guard-retired, 95, a resident of Thomaston, died March 13, 2010, at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport. He was born Oct. 23, 1914, in Paterson, N.J.

Garry grew up in Paterson, N.J., graduating from Paterson High School and Montclair Academy. After graduation he worked as a master machinist, and attended Columbia University at night. In 1933, he matriculated with 200 classmates, out of 1,000 applicants, at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He, and 22 other students, graduated in 1938. In 1950, Garry received a professional degree in naval engineering from MIT.

He had a 30-year career in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1938 to 1967. During World War II, Garry was in the Pacific Rim, and was chosen to be an observer at the Bikini Atoll atomic bomb testing. He also designed, and received two U.S. patents for, navigational buoys. In 1967, Garry retired from the Coast Guard with the rank of captain.

His next profession was as an adult educator at North Eastern University. From there he became a legal consultant in marine affairs and human resources. During this time he also took over the running of Brumfield Ship Yard.

Garry met the love of his life, Sara Jean Turner, in 1945, on a blind date in New Orleans. Thank goodness he was an excellent dancer. They dated for three months, and then were married by her father in Dallas, Texas. Their love of Maine started with a 1945 camping trip up to Eddie Jones’ fishing camps. After Garry’s time at North Eastern, he and Sara moved the family to Maine to spend the rest of their days. They were married for 62 years. His beloved Sara passed away Feb. 21, 2007.

Garry was active in the community as a member of Rotary in Rockland, the historical society and the Fourth of July Committee in Thomaston, and the original board of trustees at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport. He loved fishing, working outside and gardening. He could be seen frequently visiting with friends and neighbors around town or at one of the local businesses in Thomaston.

He is survived by his two children, his daughter, Cinda H. Schulberg, and his son, Lars Houtsma, both of Thomaston; a sister, Helen Schwartz; five grandchildren, Kyle Schulberg, Cinda Ann Schulberg, Bethany Schulberg, and Mary and Gary Houtsma.

The family encourages donations, in memory of Capt. Houtsma, to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 114 Perimeter Road, Unit G, Nashua, NH 03063.

A celebration of life service was held March 20, with a gathering time following, at Hall & Bibber Funeral Home in Thomaston. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery with his beloved Sara.

Condolences to the family may be expressed through hallbibber@myfairpoint.net.

Arrangements are with Hall & Bibber Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Thomaston.