Thomas J. Guthrie Sr. passed away peacefully and with his wife of 65 years, Diane, at his side on August 25, 2016, in Ellsworth. He recently turned 91 and lived a happy, productive life. He was born Aug. 8, 1925, the last of 11 children born to Ada and Mark Guthrie Sr., in Bar Harbor.
After graduating as an engineer from Maine Maritime Academy in 1945, Tom went to sea with the Sprague Steamship Co. and traveled the East Coast as well as across the Atlantic, typically hauling coal. Some of his most memorable cross-Atlantic trips were onboard "Liberty Ships" that brought solders home from the European continent following the end of World War II. It was during one of his visits home to Ellsworth that he met the former Diane Chase of Winter Harbor and on another visit he purchased a share of the former Carl's Grocery on High Street. Diane and Carl's would soon bring Tom home from sea for good. Tom and Diane were married June 29, 1951, and soon Tom was an ex-shipmate and a full-time High Street grocer.
Tom later teamed with Hollis Hamilton, also an independent grocer, and moved down High Street a couple doors from Carl's to open Park and Shop. Years later, Tom and Hollis sold the business to Doug Brown and became associates at Doug's Shop and Save. In 1966, they moved several more doors down High Street to a much larger Doug's store. Later, Tom would move down High Street again, and managed what is now Hannaford. In total Tom was a grocer on High Street for nearly 40 years, worked with hundreds of people that would become life-long friends, and greeted thousands of customers with a smile and a "thank you for your business".
He was also very giving to his community, serving as a Deacon of the First Congregational Church, 50-year Mason, and as a Cub Scout Master.
After his retirement, Tom and Diane moved to a new home on Union River Bay, traveled around the world, enjoyed golf, entertained friends, and lovingly hosted their family and grandchildren (and more recently, their first great-granddaughter and first great-grandson). He was an avid gardener and reader, and a fan of Boston sports teams and his beloved Notre Dame Fightin' Irish.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his 10 siblings: Beatrice, Margaret, Helen, Mark Jr., George, Lucille, Ann, John, Jean and Richard. He was also pre-deceased by a son, Thomas Jr. of Thibodaux, LA, and his in-laws, Francis and Florence Chase of Winter Harbor.
In addition to his wife, Diane, he is survived by his children and their families: daughter Christine and her husband Joe Beres of Milo and Cape Canaveral; daughter Emily of New Orleans and her children, Steven, Sebastian, Ethan and Morgan (and her son William); daughter-in-law Grace of Thibodaux, LA and her children, Chase, Chris and Dianne; son James and his wife Shelia of Sullivan; son Stanley and his partner Lise Desrocher of Trenton, his children, Jasmine (and her daughter Maya) and Thomas, and their mother Linda of San Francisco; and son Steven, his wife Jennifer and their daughter Raessler of Melrose, MA. The large family he belonged to blessed him with many cousins, nieces and nephews, and particularly close friendships with his brother Dick's family from Ellsworth and Diane's family from Winter Harbor.
The family invites relatives and friends to celebrate his life. Visiting hours at Jordan-Fernald, 113 Franklin St., Ellsworth, will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31. Funeral services will be on Thursday, Sept. 1, at 1 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment will be at Woodbine Cemetery. The family will host a celebration at 20 Raymond Way, Ellsworth, following a brief graveside service.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in his name be sent to Bangor Hospice, 42 Cedar St., Bangor, ME 04401, or Open Door Recovery Center, 8 Old Mill Rd., Ellsworth, ME 04605.
Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com