FALMOUTH - Vincent Lee McKusick, former Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, died peacefully at Legacy Memory Care in Falmouth, Maine, on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, at the age of 93.
Judge McKusick is survived by his wife of 63 years, Nancy Elizabeth Green McKusick of Falmouth; children, Barbara McKusick Liscord, Jim McKusick, Kay McKusick Ralston and Anne Elizabeth McKusick; sons-in-law, Paul Liscord, Matt Ralston and Tom Anastasio; grandchildren, Emmy Liscord Spiegel and her husband, Peter Spiegel, Robert McKusick Liscord and his wife, Brittany Leonard Liscord, Gabriel McKusick, Meagan McKusick and her husband, Daymion Mardel, Nolan James McKusick, Natalie Anne McKusick, Scott McKusick Ralston, Elizabeth McKusick Ralston, Albert Thomas Anastasio and Grace Elizabeth Anastasio; and great-grandchildren, Holden Liscord Spiegel, Madison McKusick, Alexander McKusick and Sutherland Mardel. He was predeceased by his identical twin brother, Dr. Victor A. McKusick; brothers, Harry and Robert McKusick; and sister, Grace McKusick Storms.
Judge McKusick was born October 21, 1921, on a small dairy farm in Parkman, Maine, to Carroll Lee McKusick and Ethel Buzzell McKusick. He graduated from Guilford High School, then earned a BA degree from Bates College, a MS degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a JD from Harvard Law School in 1950. He married Nancy Elizabeth Green, a physical therapist, in 1951. After a short time living in Portland, Vincent and Nancy made their home in Cape Elizabeth, where they raised their four children and continued to live until July 2014. Their home was a favorite gathering place for four generations of their family and countless friends. He treasured his family, friends and these celebrations.
Vincent McKusick loved the law, and excelled in multiple roles. He was President of the Harvard Law Review, clerked for Justice Learned Hand and Justice Felix Frankfurter before beginning his illustrious career with the law firm that became Pierce Atwood in Portland, Maine. In 1977, Governor James Longley appointed him to the position of Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. In 1991, Judge McKusick became 'of counsel' to Pierce Atwood, where he enjoyed an extended career until age 90 as Special Master on U.S. Supreme Court cases, as counsel on legal matters to members of the firm and as an arbitrator.
But it was outside of the law that he also excelled. As one of his former law clerks said, "there are many people who have the credentials the chief had, but who do not have his humanity." In 1993, when his portrait was hung in the Maine Supreme Court courtroom, another of his former law clerks said, "The Chief personifies the pursuit of law and justice as a vibrant, living pursuit not a dry, dusty, stultifying science. His sense of humor, warmth, curiosity and enthusiasm helped forge a strong bond with those of us fortunate enough to be employed as his clerks, as well as with all who interacted with him outside of the courtroom."
A Celebration of the Judge's life will be held at 2:00 pm on Sunday, December 28th, at First Parish Unitarian Universalist, 425 Congress Street, Portland, Maine, with a reception to follow at the Masonic Temple, next door to the church. The Rev. Christina Sillari will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend. A burial service will follow in the spring in his beloved Parkman, Maine.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in honor of Judge McKusick to Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Inc., Attention: Helen Meyer, P.O. Box 547, Portland, ME 04112. http://www.ptla.org/ways-give#Mail and to the "McKusick Diversity Fellowship Fund", Advancement Office, University of Maine School of Law, 246 Deering Ave, Portland, Maine 04102, or on-line (noting McKusick Fund) to http://www.mainelaw.maine.edu/alumni/gift.html.
The family would like to thank the Judge's caregivers, Leslie Brown, the staff with Legacy Memory Care and Southern Maine Hospice, for their loving care.
Arrangements made by Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland, ME. Condolences may be shared at www.hobbsfuneralhome.com.