SOUTH HOPE — Kenneth “Ken” Guiseley, 89, died peacefully on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, his birthday, at the Sussman House in Rockport after a period of declining health.

Born in Auburn, New York on July 20, 1933, he was the son of British immigrants, Percival and Louie (Balm) Guiseley, and grew up in nearby Skaneateles.

Ken attended Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, as a chemistry major, graduating summa cum laude in 1955. He met Beth Guiseley (Schnackenberg), his wife of 65 years, there, and they were married at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Hudson, New York, on Sept. 1, 1956. Soon after, the newlyweds moved to Syracuse, where Ken was a PhD student in organic chemistry at Syracuse University. Their first two children, Cindy and Pam, were born here.

In 1961, they moved to Rockland, Maine, for Ken’s new job at Marine Colloids (now FMC) as a research chemist in the field of hydrocolloids. Over the 37 years he worked there, his research on seaweed and terrestrial polysaccharides led to his obtaining four patents on agarose and carrageenan, two of which were of major significance to the company. He published several papers and presented his work at annual seaweed symposia worldwide. These seaweed extracts are used in foods, medical diagnostics, and biomedical science (DNA research).

Ken’s talents and scientific approach to life extended far beyond the lab. He was a master bartender and experimented with making wine. Ken enjoyed bowling in Marine Colloid’s league, golf, gardening, cross-country skiing, cycling, woodworking, reading sci-fi novels and scientific journals; and creating glass mosaics. He was a founding member of Nativity Lutheran Church in 1963 and served on the church council, the call committee, and sang tenor in the choir.

In 1962, their son David was born. Three years later, they moved to their forever home with five acres of land on Fish Pond in South Hope, where Ken immersed himself in vegetable gardening—and in the lake, via his signature head-first cannon ball, to the delight of his children and friends. For many years, Ken and Beth hosted the church picnic there: and when their children had children of their own, it became the favorite spot for extended family and friends to gather.

He started out with one large garden. He studied soil and moisture levels and weather patterns to determine what would grow best where, and gradually added two more plots, the total of which at their peak in the 70s constituted 6,000 square feet and one year produced 2,139 pounds of produce, well-documented in his meticulous records of everything! Generous to the core, Ken would arrive at work and at church with boxes of extra veggies, free for the taking. It delighted him to share the fruits of his labor in this way.

After retirement, Ken remained active with Nativity Lutheran Church, consulted with FMC, kept on gardening, and traveled all over the world with Beth.

He was predeceased by his parents; his wife Beth Guiseley; cousin Shirley and her husband Eric; brother-in-law John Schnackenberg and his wife Berta (Mallaly); brother-in-law William Schnackenberg; and daughter-in-law Mary (Zeegers) Guiseley.

Ken is survived by daughter Cindy Guernsey and husband Stewart of North Yarmouth, Maine; daughter Pam Sabol and husband Paul of Blue Bell, Pa.; and son David Guiseley and fiancé Nancy Antich Murphy of Naples, Maine. He leaves his grandchildren Heather, Emily, Christina, Gregory, Jacqueline and Aaron; and distant cousins in the United Kingdom.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at the Nativity Lutheran Church, 179 Old County Road, Rockport, Maine, with a reception to follow at the church.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Guiseley Family Endowed Scholarship at Hartwick College ( or PO Box 4022, Oneonta, NY 13820); or to the Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine ( or PO Box 1807, Auburn, ME 04210).

To share a memory or condolence with Ken’s family, please visit their book of memories at

Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland.