Maurice, Morris to his friends, especially those south of the Mason Dixon line, was born July 5, 1928, in Portsmouth, Va. He led a full life and told countless colorful stories of his years growing up in the South. His stories from the 1940s were full of bootleggers, gamblers and high-speed chases. While he faced a difficult childhood, he loved his family, his history and his motorcycle.

The 1950s brought him to Rockland with the Coast Guard, where he was stationed on the Coast Guard cutter Laurel. During his years in the Coast Guard, Maurice became an expert marksman and member of the rifle team, participating in team and individual competitions and winning numerous sharpshooter medals. In 1953, Maurice joined the Fraternal Order of the Masons in which he was a lifelong member. The best thing that happened to him in those years was meeting his wife Virginia “Ginny,” a native of Maine. They married in 1953 and shared 58 years of life and love.

Maurice and Ginny moved to Chesapeake, Va., in 1955 where they settled and raised their family. He worked various jobs until finding his niche at Norfolk Wholesale Floral Corporation, where he worked his way up to general manager, retiring after 20-plus years.

In his retirement, Maurice and Ginny lived for 10 years in Hertford, N.C., on Little River, where Maurice perfected the art of fishing, crabbing and “shedding crabs” for incredible tasting steamed and soft shell crabs. His greatest joy was hosting parties at his home on the river where everyone was family and he could share his love of the river and the seafood found there.

The last 10 years of his life, Maurice lived in a house overlooking Damariscotta Lake in Jefferson. He enjoyed the lake, lobster and the annual Rockland Lobster Festival, which made up for the winter snow and shoveling — which he never grew to enjoy. A highlight of those years was teaching his three grandsons to fish.

He loved to reminisce about his childhood friends from Portlock and many others who touched his life. He valued his family and friends and always looked for opportunities to catch up and share a story.

Maurice died May 3, 2011, the first full moon of the month, traditionally known as the start of blue crab soft shell season. His short battle with lung cancer was eased by the amazing nurses in the hospice unit of the VA Medical Center in Augusta. There will always be a special place in our hearts and in heaven for these incredible ladies. Donations in memory of Maurice can be made to Togus VAMC Hospice, 1 VA Center, Augusta, ME 04330.

Maurice was predeceased by his parents, George Wallace Sawyer and Helen Smith Hall Sidelman.

He is survived by his wife, Virginia; his children, Cindy Davis of Belfast, Sam Sawyer of Baton Rouge, La., and Cathy Foley; son-in-law, Kevin Foley; his grandchildren, Connor, Aidan and Owen Foley of Andover, Mass.; sister, Vivian Wotring and her husband, Bill, of Hickory, N.C.; and cousins, Joan Baxter of Chesapeake, Va., and Steve Baxter and his wife, Betty, of Gautier, Miss.

A memorial service is being planned for Maurice this summer, his favorite time of the year.

Arrangements are with Crabiel-Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave. in Belfast. Online condolences may be offered at