THOMASTON — Arthur D. “Art” Henry, 97, longtime owner and operator of Art Henry Crane Service, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, at the Sussman Hospice House in Rockport.

Born in Thomaston on Easter Day, April 12, 1925, he was the son of Arthur J. and Mary Linekin Henry. Educated locally, he was a 1943 graduate of Thomaston High School. Growing up during the Depression, he was a hard worker his entire life, learning that lesson at the age of 12 when his father passed away.

Drafted into the U.S. Army at the age of 18, he served overseas in the European Theater in the 45th Infantry Division, the “Thunderbirds.” Along with his comrades, he marched into Germany, assisting with the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp. In January of 1946 he returned home to his beloved state of Maine, just 20 years old, but forever a changed man. Art spoke of his experiences often, but carried much of what he learned and saw during the war close to his heart.

After working several different jobs, including fishing for F.J. O’Hara, he purchased a Ford tractor in 1952. This was the beginning of his long-time career as a crane operator and the beginning of his business, Art Henry Crane Services.

Later he was an active member of the American Legion in Thomaston. During this time, he assisted with the annual Fourth of July celebration, the municipal Christmas tree lighting as well as providing and maintaining the ice-skating rink behind the block. He also participated in the Twilight Baseball League.

In 1960 Art acquired “the Island” in St. George. This was his “happy place” where, together with his family, many wonderful memories were made. The Island will always hold a special place in the family’s hearts for generations to come.

Art always had a special place in his heart for animals, especially his beloved dog Munchie. Most recently, he could be found feeding and caring for the feral cats that roamed around the shop. Art’s sharp wit will be missed beyond measure, and his recall of historical facts was unsurpassed. His memory never failed, and he could remember everything from facts from his childhood right up to what he had eaten for breakfast that day.

Art was a Beechwood Street icon. Even after he had to stop driving and couldn’t visit the local stops for his daily chats, Art would drive his truck to the end of his driveway and sit. Right there in the driveway, people would stop and visit often learning about local history. Art’s mailman, Joe Wyman, once said Art was the best history teacher he ever had.

Refining his culinary skills as he aged, Art would prepare roasts, seafood stews and boiled dinner on St. Patrick’s Day. He delivered these meals to his brother Teddy and later to brother Walter.

Always up for an adventure, he loved to go to local Maine fairs, auctions, smelting, kite flying with his children and grandchildren, and even traveled to Florida and back alone to visit his siblings and friends. He was an avid reader, reading at least three newspapers a day until his eye sight would no longer allow it.

He was a loving, generous man who would help anyone in need. His family was his number one priority, and he was actively involved in the lives of his grandchildren. Art’s passing leaves a big hole in the hearts of all who loved him.

Arthur was predeceased by his sisters Blanche, Elizabeth, Alice, June and Iva; two brothers, Teddy and Walter; two daughters, Diane Henry and Carla Henry; a son-in-law, Russell Elwell; a nephew, Arthur E. Henry; and the mother of his children, Charlene Anderson. Arthur is survived by his children Dwight Henry and his wife Michelle of Thomaston, Susan Henry of Thomaston and Allison Libby and her husband William of Cushing; his grandchildren, Willow Henry-Elwell of Thomaston, Justin Henry and his partner Danielle of Thomaston, Nicolas Lemieux and his wife Christine of Saco and Cameron Henry of Thomaston; his great-grandchildren, Seamus and Sawyer Henry and Emilia Lemieux; as well as several nieces and nephews. Throughout his life, Art made many friends, several of whom went before him, including Erkie and Russ Fish, Sid Andrews, Dana Sawyer, Roland Hahn and Peanut Robinson. In recent years he has enjoyed the company and friendship of Todd Watts, Bob and Vicki Barret and Dusty and Becky Glidden.

At Mr. Henry’s request, his family will remember his life privately. To share a memory or condolence with the Henry family please visit their Book of Memories at bchfh.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, ME, 04841.

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