Garrison N. Valentine

Sep 11, 2020
Garrison Valentine

Kittery — Garrison N. "Garry" Valentine, 91, passed away peacefully at Durgin Pines in Kittery Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. His final weeks were full of warm and healing connections with family and friends through visits and phone calls.

He was born in New York City in 1929, the son of the late Alan and Lucia (Norton) Valentine. While Garry was born in NYC, he spent most of his childhood in North Haven in the summers, New Haven, Conn., and Rochester, N.Y., where he attended the Foote School and the Allendale School.

Due to his father's presidency at the University of Rochester, the family resided in the Eastman Kodak House. He graduated from Milton Academy in Milton, Mass., in 1946 which was also his mother's alma mater. As a senior at Yale University, he enjoyed performing with the Whiffenpoofs, the oldest and most renowned collegiate a capella group in the country and he graduated from Yale in 1950 with a bachelor's degree in English and philosophy.

After Yale, Garry did not return home, but instead began his life journey. Through a Yale friend, Garry was introduced to the Weeks family, from Woodbury, Conn., where he lived and worked for a year on Carmel Hill Farm, raising quail, pheasant and pigeons. It was during this time he developed his passion to hunt and met his future wife, Margo Weeks, who he married in 1952.

Enlisting in the U.S. Air Force at the end of the Korean War, he flew all weather interceptor aircraft and was involved with the procurement of fighter aircraft for NATO Forces in Europe. During his time in the service, he and his family, Margo and their four children, spent time in Wisconsin, Michigan, Bourne, Mass., France, Madison, Conn., Old Saybrook, Conn., and North Haven Island during the summers.

In 1961, he resigned from the USAF to attend Yale Law School, graduating in 1963. From 1964 to 1986 he was a partner of Hoppin, Carey and Powell in Hartford, Conn. In 1963, he designed his first family's house based on a Salt Box Design on seven acres in Old Saybrook, Conn. He later became a partner at Ladwig and Valentine in Mystic, Conn., from 1986-1988.

Garry served on the Board for the Connecticut Attorneys Title Company, the Old Saybrook Conservation Commission and the Old Saybrook Planning Commission from 1963 to 1980, where he was known for defending wetlands from development.

He also served both as a partner and on the Board of Directors at Waller Smith and Palmer Corporation, New London, Conn., was on the Board of Governors of Stonington Community Center and the Board of Directors at Summer Music at Harkness Park and Mystic Marine Life Aquarium. He was a member of the American Bar Association, New London County Bar Association and Connecticut Bar Association.

In 1983, Garry divorced and married his future wife of 36 years, Inge (Froelich) Valentine. Together and with Inge's daughter, Carolyn Read, they settled into a house Garry designed in Stonington, Conn.

As Garry moved into retirement, both Inge and Garry chose Durham, N.H., as their new home which represented the mountains of Bavaria and the water of Maine. A common place which signified their important connection. They both shared a love of downhill skiing and travelling to Germany. After Durham, N.H., the couple downsized their life, moving to Rochester, N.H., then residing at Huntington Common Assisted Living in Kennebunk.

His passions were many. When asked what professions he would have chosen if not the law, he has said, naval architect, doctor, lobsterman and farmer. He loved the water, dogs, Labradors and corgis, Peter Sellers movies, sailing in Conn. and down the coast of Maine with his kids and relatives, taking the skiff out to Watch Hill from Stonington, East Beach, navigation (both celestial and plotting charts), camping, spending hours in the woods pruning.

His passion for the sea translated as his being a gentle teacher to all of us, how to read the ocean, take the helm during a storm, always the most relaxed when on the boat or swimming in the waves.

He enjoyed reading train magazines, Arthur Ransom novels, translating French fairy tales, Yale Alumni magazines, the Milton Academy News, The North Haven Maine News, singing with The Whiffenpoofs, listening to 1940s jazz, harmonizing to Eddie Jefferson songs, singing Christmas songs in front of the fireplace, lighting real candles on the Christmas tree, making a silver star out of foil for the top of the tree, playing Frankenstein with his young kids on his front lawn and imitating characters from the movie "The Fly."

He loved Europe, lived in France for four years and enjoyed visiting family in Germany. His curiosity for his family lineage was ignited by his love of genealogy and by his family's connection to three inspiring leaders in the world, William Lloyd Garrison (Abolitionist), Mary Dyer (Founder of the Quaker Church) and Charles McKim (Architect of the Boston Public Library).

In addition to his wife, Inge, who is a resident at Durgin Pines of Kittery, surviving family members include children Peter McKim Valentine from Cambridge, Mass., Stewart Valentine (Carol Chater) from Appleton, Norah Dyer Valentine from Cambridge, Mass., Elizabeth Post Valentine (Gerard Hirsch) from Chelmsford, Mass. and Carolyn Read (Rob Anthony) from Evanston, Ill.

He has seven grandchildren, James Garner Valentine of Exeter, N.H., Samuel Valentine (Veronique) from Newmarket, N.H., Benjamin Valentine (Daphne) from Murfreesboro, Tenn., Susanna Valentine (Seth) from Iowa, Ethan Valentine Hirsch from Philadelphia, Penn. and Tarek Anthony and Isabelle Anthony of Evanston, Ill.

He is also survived by his former wife Margo Valentine from Essex, Conn., and many nieces, nephews, cousins and great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by sisters Laurie Valentine of Burlington, Vt. and Sarah McKim Valentine of Fredericksburg, Texas.

At Garry's request all services will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to both North Haven Arts & Enrichment and Waterman's Community Center on the island of North Haven.

Visit RemickGendron.com to view Garry's memorial website, to sign his tribute wall and for additional information.

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