HARBORSIDE - Richard W. Klain died peacefully at his home May 16, 2013. He was born in 1923 in Norway, the last of the six children of Abraham and Grace Prince Pike Klain.
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He was a beloved son, brother, uncle, husband, friend, father and grandfather. Wherever he went he spread the joy of life and hugs and kisses to all. He played a number of roles in his life as an athlete, sportsman, citizen, Mason, soldier, scholar, teacher, guidance counselor, navigator, sailor, cruiser and reluctant politician. He was larger in life than his stature and relished every moment. As a child, his family settled in Mechanic Falls where Dick graduated from high school in 1942. He first joined the U.S. Navy and then the U.S. Marine Corps. Dick was a true Marine using "Semper Fidelis" as his motto throughout his long life. After his discharge he married Juanita Berry of West Poland, who would be his wife for more than 50 years. She died in 1998. They had one child. Taking advantage of the GI Bill, Dick graduated in 1950 with a bachelor's degree and a year later earned a master's degree at the University of Maine, becoming the first of his siblings to graduate from college. For the next 27 years he worked at Bangor High School as its first guidance counselor. By the end of his career he supervised the special services for the entire Bangor school system and contributed much to the mental health resources of the region. Along the way he acquired a 30 foot antique power boat he renamed "Wa-Wa." He and Nita learned the cruising life on the Maine coast from their base in Buck's Harbor. After Dick's retirement they became part owners in the cruise schooner, Nathaniel Bowditch, out of Rockland. Seven years later they sold their interest and bought their own sailboat, the Sarah Sea. Dick and Nita cruised the Inter-Coastal Waterway five times over a period of 10 years including trips to the Bahamas and the American and British Virgin Islands making lasting friendships all along the way. They moved ashore permanently to Harborside and their beloved "Dippy Inn" entertaining and watching sunsets over Penobscot Bay. Dick served the town of Brooksville on several committees and was elected mayor of Harborside serving four terms. He was most proud of his role in creating the famous Harborside Fourth of July Parade and Celebration.
Dick is survived by his son, Richard and wife, Ellen, of Falmouth; granddaughter, Sarah of Vancouver, British Columbia; granddaughter, Acadia of Pittsburgh; "adopted" daughter, Lynne Emerson Whitney and husband, Vid, of Harborside; and numerous nieces and nephews around the state and the country. His hugs and humor will be missed by all he touched. He was fond of saying, "Everyone needs 10 hugs a day just to stay sane and safe in this crazy world." He shared his hugs with all and made the world a saner and safer place.
A memorial celebration will be held 1-4 p.m. Saturday, July 6, at family home in Harborside. Memorial gifts may be sent to Friends of Holbrook Island Sanctuary, Brooksville Grange or Hancock County Homecare and Hospice.
Published in BDN Maine on May 18, 2013