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Gerald S. Leighton

Dec 15, 1944 - Oct 29, 2017

Gerald's Story

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Stetson - Gerald S. Leighton, 72, died Oct. 29, 2017, at his Stetson home following a long illness. He was born in Bangor, Dec. 15, 1944, the son of Owen S. and Madelyn (Stone) Leighton. He was educated in Brewer schools and a graduate of Brewer High School in the class of 1962.
Gerry married Norma Cota on Nov. 10, 1966, in Old Town, and they made their home until they moved to Bradley where their daughter, Jennifer, was born, living there for 10 years. They then moved to Brewer for 10 years where their son, John, was born. They built a home in Newport on Route 7 living there for 30 + years until they built their present home in Stetson.
Gerry served for 23 years in the Maine Army National Guard, retired with the enlisted rank of Master Sergeant. He held several positions of leadership that included Chief Supply Sgt., Chief Logistics Sgt., and 1st Sgt. as his last duty station. Following his military service, he worked 28 years in the paper making world at the SAPPI mill in Skowhegan and ended his career working on the important project of Lock Out-Tag Out. He was instrumental in the creation of the Lock Out-Tag Out procedure that eventually was used throughout the mill complex and being part of that process was most rewarding.
Gerry was a very active Freemason. His interaction with Freemasonry starting with his membership in Meridian Splendor Lodge #49 in 1988 became an important part of his life. He was a fifth generation Freemason and spent a good deal of his time supporting various entities to include being elected to serve the Royal and Select Masters of Maine as its Most Illustrious Grand Master. Although now demitted from Scottish rites, he still remembers his time as Most Wise Master fondly. He enjoyed being part of the Anah Shrine of Bangor and found that entertaining children as Yah-Hoo the cowboy Clown to be the "best". The clown unit of the Shrine was something special and Gerald found himself as part of a new extended family.
The pinnacle of his Masonic experience occurred in 2006 when he was installed as Grand Master of Masons in Maine. He always characterized his term of office as a learning experience with interesting challenges but the positive relationships he formed lasted the rest of his lifetime.
He was privileged to be able to serve the Freemasonry of Maine as its Grand Secretary during the difficult transition of the administrative office space from its long time office in Portland to the newly renovated office space in Holden, Maine. The new office staff did extra ordinary work to make the transition as seamless as possible.
As a founding member of Seminary Hill Daylight Lodge 220 he watched with delight as his unusual concept for a lodge seems to become welcomed within the craft.
Both he and Lady Norma spent wonderful hours with members of Nokomis OES and traveled many hours supporting that organization. He served many years as its secretary and served on several state wide committees.
Gerry was an avid woodworker, making beautiful toys. He also loved to fish and once in a while would confess to catching one. Gerry was a member of the High Street Congregational Church in Newport.
A celebration of Life will be held at the Newport Masonic Lodge, Moosehead Trail, Newport, ME, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, with Rev. Ernie Campbell and Rev. and Right Worshipful Mark Rustin officiating. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Newport Masonic Association, in care of Kelly Carter, 177 Birchwood Terr., Pittsfield, Maine 04967 or Hospice of Eastern Maine, 885 State Street, Suite 220, Bangor, ME 04401.
Arrangements are entrusted to the care of the Brown Funeral Home and Cremation Service Center, 34 High St., Newport, Maine 04953.
To sign an online guest book and leave written condolences please visit: www.PhilipBrownFuneralHome.com
Published on  October 31, 2017
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