Steen's Story

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SALISBURY COVE AND NOKOMIS, FLA. - Steen Loughridge Meryweather, of Salisbury Cove, Maine, passed away peacefully at his home in Nokomis, Florida, April 5, 2014 from a five year struggle with cancer of the esophagus.

He is survived by his devoted wife Janet Louise Meryweather, his two sons, Timothy Steen Meryweather and his wife Ellen of Perris, California, and Rodney Gerald Meryweather and his wife Alicia of Knoxville, Tennessee, his daughter Katherine Meryweather Cavness of Hampden, Maine; his three step-children Alison Leigh Meryweather and her husband Keane L Barthenheier, Seattle, Washington, Melissa Ann Meryweather and her husband Kevin R. Hollenbeck of Northbridge, Massachusetts, and Christopher Nordgren D'Amico and his wife Tami of Brewer, Maine, a nephew Thomas Arthur Meryweather III and his wife Shirley of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and niece Nannette Meryweather Winterstein and her husband Robert of Sanford, Florida. Grandchildren: Zacharia Rocsten and Alexander Uriah Meryweather; Stephanie Joanne Meryweather; Leo Calhoun, Chester Ben and Clay Arthur Cavness; Katherine Bonnie and Daniel Steen Hernandez; Jennie Mickelson D'Amico Haluska and her husband David and James Field D'Amico; Lauren Madison and Megan Ashley Barthenheier; Christopher John Nordgren and Jonathan Reed Mickelson Hollenbeck; step grands, Caden Kranz, Katie Crosby, and Emily Percival. Great grandsons: William Richard and Roman Alexander Cavness, Edmund Michael Haluska.

Steen was born in Trenton, New Jersey, July 27, 1925, the son of The Rev. Thomas Arthur Meryweather and Eleanor Loughridge Meryweather of Yardley, Pennsylvania, who have predeceased him as well as a brother, Thomas Arthur Meryweather II.

Steen attended and graduated from Swarthmore High School, Class of 1943, enlisted in the United States Army prior to his graduation and served in the European Theater of operations in World War II until February 1946 when he was honorably discharged. He was awarded two Purple Hearts during his service, declining them as he felt others were more seriously wounded. He then attended and graduated from Stroudsburg State University in 1950 and on full scholarship attended and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Physiotherapy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

His first professional position was at the Rutland Heights VA Hospital in Rutland, Massachusetts. Later he practiced his profession in Bangor, Maine, from 1954 until 1970. He served on the Maine State Licensing Board for Physical Therapists and holds license number 4 for RPT. He was department head of Rehabilitation at EMMC and later at St. Joseph's Hospital, when he accepted the position of Director of Rehabilitative Therapy at Mount Desert Island Hospital, Bar Harbor, in 1970. During his time in Bangor, he taught at the Eastern Maine General Hospital School of Nursing, and in 1959 and 1960 taught basic anatomy, neurology, kinesiology, and sports medicine at the University of Maine in Orono. Many years were spent periodically in Post Graduate Studies at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Rusk Rehabilitation Center at New York University, and at the University of Pennsylvania. He specialized in pulmonary physiotherapy, neuroanatomy and physiology, and hydrotherapy burn management.

When Dow Air Force Base closed, he was chairman of the committee to determine the reuse of the Base Hospital. A University of Maine School of Dental Hygiene was established at this hospital and the Bangor City Hospital was moved from Main Street to this site as a result of that chairmanship.

As Bangor Symphony Orchestra Board member for eleven years, he recommended and the Board approved changing one of the concerts to a Sunday afternoon as it still stands today.

His Masonic affiliations started with his third degree at Rufus Putnam Lodge, Rutland, Massachusetts, and became a Scottish Rite thirty-second degree Mason, Anah Temple, Bangor, Maine. e was a member of the Anah Temple Shrine Band and Chorus.

He was active in the Savoyards in Bangor playing Judd in Oklahoma with David Hartman with the lead as Curley, the Mayor in Music Man, Benny Southstreet in Guys and Dolls, and Stew Pot in South Pacific. He was recruited by John Ballou to appear in Victoria Crandall's production of The Pajama Game in Orono with a professional troupe, learning the role of Hassler in two weeks.

He was involved in sports medicine at Bangor High School, John Bapst High School, University of Maine and Maine Maritime Academy over many years as their medical trainer. A Monsignor at John Bapst at a sports banquet called Steen the most "Catholicized Protestant" he knew.

Steen was a member of the Bar Harbor Fire Department as its Safety Officer; served on the Bar Harbor Warrant Committee; was on the vestry of St. Saviour's Episcopal Church in Bar Harbor and later on the vestry of Church of Our Father, Hulls Cove, Maine; was a member of Rotary International in Bar Harbor, a past president, Governor's Aid for First District of Rotary, and Paul Harris Fellow; on the Board of Trustees for the MDI Biological Laboratory on the Long Range Planning Committee and Executive Committee. At age 87 was one of the first three individuals to be given the title of Honorary Trustee of the MDIBL.

After a forced early medical retirement at age of 54, he captained both sail and powerboats for eighteen years for private families. This second career ended 9/14/2001.

He joined the USCG Auxiliary Division I Flotilla 14 in 1991 after he was instrumental in solving an explosive situation between lobster fishermen and the cruise ships at the time of the Mediterranean crisis forcing ships to come into Bar Harbor instead. Resolved the problem by working with the Coast Guard and fishermen getting a raycon transponder placed to guide cruise ships into two channels avoiding the lobstermen's territory in a remarkable three-month time frame for which he received the USCG Public Service Commendation.

In 1992 he was certified as USCG Auxiliary Crew Member, in 1993 certified as USCG Auxiliary Vessel Operator. He served as Flotilla Commander from 1992 until 1994. He certified as an instructor, a specialist in patrols, administrative procedures course.

The Monday following 9/11/01, he was asked by the USCG in Southwest Harbor, Maine, to qualify as a regular Coast Guard crewman. While captain of the "Windless" assisted in Coast Guard search and rescue missions. He studied for and passed exams to be qualified to serve on board the 55-foot ATON vessel and the 28-footer. He served at the USCG base in Southwest Harbor as one of the Aids to Navigation team (ATON) on a daily basis initially. In 2003 was presented a certificate as a Founding Member of Homeland Security. In 2005 he was awarded the Boat Force Operations Insignia for demonstrating a commitment to the service and achieving a level of qualification, knowledge, and experience both practical and operational. In 2006 he was presented Auxiliary Membership Service Award for 25 years of dedicated service and the Commandant of the USCG awarded him the Coast Guard Auxiliary Achievement Medal for superior performance of duty. On December 1, 2009 Steen was appointed Honorary Chief of the United States Coast Guard by Admiral USCG Commandant Thad W. Allen, presented by Chief Tim Chase and the ATON group Southwest Harbor, the award ceremony at his home.

Steen was an ardent golfer with handicap of 8, tennis player, and had many travel adventures with his wife Janet. First to Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico for their honeymoon, returning five years later to celebrate their anniversary, Steen having reserved the very same room; later trips were to Hawaii; around the British Isles on the Argonaut, sailing from Southhampton on June 6, anniversary of Steen's landing on Omaha Beach, D-Day; the Mediterranean on the Marco Polo from Istanbul to Barcelona; sailed up and down the coast of Norway; cruised around South America from Buenos Aires to Santiago, Chili pre-trip to Iguazzu Falls; China before the dam on the Yangtsee River destroyed many historical sites ~ from Beijing to Hong Kong; celebrating their 25th anniversary in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii; Antigua; Ireland; and lastly Machu Pichu and the Galapagos.

A celebration of Steen's life will be held at a time and place to be announced. Private burial will be at the Salisbury Cove Cemetery next to the Meryweather home. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to one's favorite charity or institution or to Steen's favorites: MDIBL, Church of Our Father, Bangor Symphony Orchestra, Shriners Hospitals, or the Bar Harbor Fire Department. Arrangements by: Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mt. Desert, ME. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com
Published on  April 10, 2014
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