Gilbert's Story

CAMDEN - Gilbert Charles Laite, Jr. died March 20, 2015 at Togus Veterans' Hospital. He was born September 11, 1932 to Gilbert Charles & Dorothy Stone Laite, the eldest of 4 sons and grew up in Camden.

Gilbert attended Kents Hill School and graduated from Camden High School, in the class of 1950. After graduating from High School Gil worked for Stephen Haboush traveling through the Midwest and stopping at churches where Mr. Haboush presented his Travelogue of the Holy Lands, where he grew up. From there Gil worked for John Money at his funeral Home in Attleboro MA. Next he moved to Boston and joined the J.S. Waterman & Sons Funeral Homes and also enrolled in the New England Institute of Anatomy & Embalming following in the footsteps of his father and graduating in early February of 1953 and on February 21, 1953, Gil married Karen Taylor Hein at St. Thomas' Church and one week later went into the U.S. Army.

After Basic Training he was stationed at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, Command & General Staff College, where Karen joined him and Gil worked in the Lab and also Army Hospital where he witnessed the first heart bypass surgery. Later he was deployed to Frankfurt, Germany where again he worked in a Lab and also was assigned to play on the Army football team.

Honorably discharged in March of 1955, Gil and Karen returned to Camden and Gil joined the family Laite funeral home with his uncle Robert Laite. Gil continued to serve in the Army Reserve until June 1961 and then again received an honorable discharge. After 10 years he went into real estate and created Rockbrook and Greenfield, Maine Coast Construction, the Fernald's Neck land at Megunticook Lake and many other accomplishments. Gil was a member of the Masons and Lions Club. He was also a proud member of the Camden Volunteer Fire Department, First Aid Association, St. Thomas' Church Committees and served on various town boards for many years.

Gilbert will be remembered for award winning waterfowl carvings, a booming bass-baritone voice, his love of hunting and fishing, complete love of Black Labrador Retrievers, (his last black lab, George, a constant companion) and a passion for and intimate knowledge of the land of Maine.

Gil is survived by his children, Stephanie Laite Lanham and her husband, Bud Summers, Gilbert C. Laite III, and David V. Laite; grandchildren, Samuel W. Lanham III, Andrew Lanham and his wife, Nanika Lee, John W. Lanham, and Taylor Laite; also his brother, Parker Stone Laite; many dear cousins and the mother of Gil's children, Karen T. Laite. His parents and younger brothers, Keryn B. and Vance B. Laite predecease him.

Gil's family thanks the remarkable nursing staff of the 2nd floor of building #207 at Togus who gave "their last 10 %" during the final weeks of Gil's life--amazing individuals. We also thank the staff that cared for him at Togas building #206, some of whom graciously visited him in hospice care.

In keeping with Gil's wishes, services will be private and held at the convenience of the family.

Those who wish to remember Gil in a special way may make gifts in his memory to United Midcoast Charities PO Box 205, Camden, ME 04843 or on line at
Published in Bangor Daily News
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