Thomas B. Armitage III

Jun 20, 2017
Thomas Armitage III

St. George — Thomas Benson "Tommy" Armitage III, 63, passed away June 14, 2017, after a long struggle with cancer; his wife, Laura (née Barrozo) Armitage, was at his side.

Tommy was the son of Thomas Benson Armitage Jr. and Joan Lois Babbitt Armitage. He was born in Attleboro, Mass., and raised with his brother, Brian, and sisters, Linda and Lisa. Tommy graduated from King Philip High School in Wrentham, Mass., where he was a pole-vaulter, a diver on the local swim team, and an excellent football, basketball and baseball player.

Tommy loved not only playing sports, but also coaching school and town teams, refereeing games, and cheering for Boston’s professional teams. He reveled in being outdoors in all seasons, hiking or skiing or biking or gardening or tending his bees. He even hiked the Appalachian Trail in his early 20s.

After moving to St. George in 1985, he began working at Harbor Builders Associates, where he became a limited partner in 1989 and then a full partner in ’96. Tommy was proud of the work the company did and the fact that it was able to provide good jobs to so many employees. He relished taking a chance on a young carpenter, and enjoyed helping him grow in confidence and expertise. He prized building real relationships with his clients, many of whom became longtime friends.

After decades building dream houses for others, he and Laura at last collaborated on building their own. He and his team at Harbor Builders were generous with their skills, building ramps for people who could no longer climb stairs, outfitting two Trekkers buses, even building “Lydia’s craft cottage” for a young leukemia patient who requested an art studio through the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Such generosity was core to Tommy’s being; at the same time that he was a cancer patient visiting the Dempsey Center in Lewiston, he was also one of the top fundraisers biking in the Dempsey Challenge for many of those years, including this past year only eight months ago while undergoing chemotherapy. He worked closely with Trekkers, both as a volunteer on numerous educational expeditions and as a dedicated board member. He also served on the St. George Rescue Squad.

Tommy loved seizing the moment; he was invariably the first person to dance at weddings or to plunge into the chilly waters each summer. Whether teaching his sons or embarking on travel adventures with Laura or gathering his family and friends together, Tommy was happiest when surrounded by people with whom he could share this passion for life. He had a wonderful knack for capturing these experiences in words, and enjoyed crafting poems, stories and reminiscences. In addition to his wife, Laura, Tommy is survived by his son Gregg, daughter-in-law Diandra and his granddaughter Rheya; by his son Dustin, daughter-in-law Natascia and his grandbaby on the way; by his stepson, Ian Cook, and Ian’s partner, Nadine Gallagher,;and by his all-time favorite dog, Betty. He is also survived by his sister Linda and brother-in-law Al Coutinho, brother Brian and sister-in-law Jackie, and sister Lisa and brother-in-law Ken Gill; several nieces and nephews; along with scores and scores of friends.

A potluck celebration of Tommy’s life will be held July 8, at 1 p.m. at the home of his friends and neighbors, Suzanne and Sherm Hoyt, on Caven Lane off Clark Island Road, St George. Look for parking signs. Parking will be offsite and will require a short shuttle ride, so please time your arrival accordingly.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Thomas B. Armitage Scholarship Fund, which will support a scholarship to be given annually to a student from St. George who shares the sense of generosity and community service that imbued Tommy’s life. Checks can be written to The Thomas B. Armitage Scholarship and sent to Elizabeth Curtis, Finance Director for St. George, P.O. Box 131, Tenants Harbor, ME 04860.

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