John Coolidge Sweet

Dec 20, 1923 - Jul 29, 2017

John's Story

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Bar Harbor - John Coolidge Sweet, 93, died July 29, 2017, at his residence in Bar Harbor. He was born December 20, 1923, in Hulls Cove, Maine, the son of Henry Colman and Lena Emily ( Hoyt) Sweet Sr. on Elm Tree Dairy Farm, where the milking was done by hand. He is the last of his siblings: Jerome, Hoyt, Isabelle, William and Marcus.
He often told tales of life on the farm, with pigs escaping and horses pulling logs out of the woods to be used for the winter's wood stove and cutting ice on Lakewood. He left the farm, as so many young men did at that time, to join in the war effort. During the war John was stationed in Dunkeswell in Devonshire, England, and flew in B24 Liberators from Murmansk, Russia, to Port Leodi, Africa, in search of Nazi U boats with the VB103. He told a story of when on a weekend-pass he experienced the Blitz in London, and had to run for the air raid shelters. He had left his dog tags on his bunk, and his family was just about to be notified he was MIA when he turned up alive and well for duty.
During the Korean War he was called back into active duty. In the early 1950's, he was a member of the George Edwin Kirk Post 25 American Legion Drum and Bugle Corp. From 1943 until 1970, the Navy was his lifetime career. He spent time on the USNS Michelson, with the Oceanographic Detachment, mapping the North Atlantic sea bottom. Time was spent at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he revitalized the Boy Scout Troop. He also was on the staff of Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force. He was proud of his top secret clearance and of being a courier for the US Navy. John received many medals and commendations for his outstanding service.
In 1948, he married Geraldine Baker and started a family, raising two sons, John Jr. and David. They were together until her death in 2010.
After retiring from the Navy, he had the opportunity to manage the Jordan Pond House until moving on to the Kimball Terrace Inn in 1975. In 1977, he and Geraldine purchased the Harbourside Inn in Northeast Harbor, Maine. He was proud to spend time developing his cherished raised-bed organic garden at the curve of the road at Harbourside Inn. Green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, rhubarb, kale, lettuce and cucumbers, to name a few, were things grown in his small but intense garden. Naturally, he was kept busy repairing and upgrading electricals, plumbing and the building itself at Harbourside Inn. Many passers by, plus his children, learned all about composting, companion planting and French raised beds. A Plan For A Wonderful Garden was a talk he presented to the Woman's Club of Northeast Harbor in 1996. Sharing his gardening knowledge was one of his favorite pastimes.
He is survived by his extended family: son, John and wife, Ann; son, David and wife, Gretchen; grandchildren and great-grandchildren: John III and son, Seth; Christine and husband, Steve Dmitrieff, and their children, Alex, Nicholas, and Ivanna; Mike and children, Kaden and Phoenix, and their mother, Heather Evans; Megan and husband, Ian Leies, and children, Isaac and James; and many nieces and nephews.
A special thank you to all the caregivers who enabled John to die in the comfort of his own home: Megan Sweet, Christine Sweet, John Sweet III, John Sweet Jr., David Sweet, John Evans, Ruth Falt, and nurses, Emma Lansing and Betty Mitchell. Also a thank you to Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County who supplied many nurses and volunteers.
A burial will be held September 9th, 11am, at Forest Hill Cemetery in Northeast Harbor. Donations can be made to either Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, 294 Crosby Brook Road, Unity, Maine 04988 or Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County ,14 McKenzie Ave, Ellsworth, Maine 04605.
Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mt. Desert. Condolence may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com
Published on  August 1, 2017
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