Henry's Story

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FORT FAIRFIELD - Dr. Henry Litz passed away peacefully on March 21, 2016 after a short but courageous battle with pancreatic cancer, surrounded by family. Henry was born in Presque Isle on May 1, 1942, the son of Alfred Foster and Margaret Earle Litz.

His father moved to the County from Homer, New York and was a successful potato broker and sheep breeder; his community minded mother was from a family of physicians in Perth-Andover, New Brunswick. Henry attended school in Presque Isle and graduated from Rothesay Collegiate School in New Brunswick in 1960. When not running away from mischief, Henry was breaking school records in track and field. He briefly attended McGill University in Montreal before enlisting in the U.S. Army (1961-1964). After basic training at Fort Benning, Henry was stationed in the allied intelligence office in Berlin, Germany, where he discovered that he had a natural gift for comprehending and speaking most Indo European languages. In 1964, he returned home, enrolling at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, where he majored in modern languages and History. While attending UNB, Henry met the love of his life, Marilyn (née Gangerdeen) of Trinidad and Tobago. Henry and Marilyn were married in 1967 and had four children between 1968 and 1976, during which time Henry was awarded a degree in Medicine from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He practiced emergency medicine at the Mary Joseph Hospital in Jackman Maine from 1975-1978, and then at St. Joseph's Hospital in Bangor from 1978-1986. Henry was Chief Medical Officer for the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad. He returned to military service and joined the 101st Air Refueling Wing, Maine National Guard as a flight surgeon. In 1986, he joined the U.S. Air Force full time, and was stationed at RAF Bentwaters in the UK, home of the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing. Henry and his family embraced the English lifestyle and took advantage of their location to frequently explore the UK and the continent. In 1989, Henry returned to Maine and was stationed at Loring AFB, where he stayed until the base was designated for closure, but not before serving in The First Gulf War as a flight surgeon on Diego Garcia. Henry lived in Aroostook County until his death, working first as a physician at The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle and then at the Tobique Valley Community Health Center in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. Henry remained active with the Air National Guard during his later career, serving as State Flight Surgeon from 2000 to 2002 with the rank of Colonel at his retirement. Henry was a medical examiner for the State of Maine and the Federal Aviation Administration. He also served seniors at the Tobique Valley Manor in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. A self-deprecating, but avid outdoorsman, and self-proclaimed societal fringer, Henry was happiest spending time with friends, family, and with his dogs in the woods. He enjoyed hiking, boating, cross-country skiing, merrymaking, crossword puzzles, and reading , often clad in clogs and a jellabiya. He donated to several conservation organizations in Maine and Canada to insure future generations would enjoy nature as he had. Henry had a wonderful sense of humor, an infectious personality, and was admired and loved by everyone who knew him. He enjoyed classical music and was a dedicated patron of the arts, in particular the Lemeque International Baroque Music Festival.

Henry was predeceased by his sister Susan Litz Sulzer of Union, Maine. He is survived by his wife Marilyn Litz, of Fort Fairfield; his brother Dr. Richard Litz and his partner Dr. Jorge Pena, of Wiscasset; his friend and sister in law Dr. Sharon Litz of Halifax, Nova Scotia, his nephews Dr. David Litz and family of the United Arab Emirates and Matthew Litz and family of Portland, Maine; his sister Judith Boudman and her husband Clifton, of Crouseville; his sister Sarah Schaertl and her husband George of Shortsville New York; his daughter Vaneska Litz and her husband Darren Johnson, of Lusaka, Zambia and Burlington, Vermont, and their children Simon and Segolene, both of whom worship their "Jiddu" (Grandfather); his son Adrian Litz and his wife Sarah Weber, of Squamish, British Columbia; his daughter Marisa Litz and her husband Greg Hutchinson, of Seal Rock, Oregon; and his daughter Alison Litz and her partner Marty Sherwood of Bar Harbor. Henry also leaves behind many lifelong friends, colleagues, beloved family dogs, and a wide circle of fellow pranksters.

At Henry's request, there will be a private Memorial Service at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Henry's memory to the Aroostook "House of Comfort" P.O. Box 867, Presque Isle, Maine 04769. Arrangements are with Giberson-Dorsey Funeral Home, 144 Main St., Fort Fairfield. Online condolences may be expressed at www.gibersondorseyfuneralhome.com
Published on  March 23, 2016
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