Ralph P. Pettie
Blue Hill—Ralph P. Pettie (the middle initial stood for Parsons) died in Brewer on June 20, 2015. The younger son of the late Florence Parsons and Charles Edward Pettie, both parents Canadian-born and raised, he was born on the 3rd of February, 1933, in Brewer, Maine, then taken home to Bucksport where he lived until the age of 14.
He attended Bucksport schools until the end of World War II when his family moved to Bangor where Ralph graduated from Bangor High School in 1951. He applied to and was accepted at Boston University but decided instead to attend West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, West Virginia. There he received his bachelor’s degree in English in 1955 and, on scholarship, was immediately accepted for graduate study, also in English, at the University of Maine, Orono where he received his master’s degree in 1956 after completing a thesis on American playwright Eugene O’Neill.
Charles Dickens once wrote, “Regrets are the natural property of gray hairs.” Ralph Pettie had a lifelong love for and interest in animals, domestic and wild, but particularly domestic. His one great regret in his “gray hairs” retirement life was that he didn’t have sufficient room to make a home for more unloved, unwanted animals. He wished he could have owned several acres of land in the country where animals of all kinds could have found a safe and warm environment, but that was clearly not to be. Instead he compensated by giving generous financial support on both the local and national levels to animal welfare agencies and shelters.
Ralph served his country for two years in the United States Army before accepting a teaching position in the Greenwich, Connecticut, public school system where he taught English for 34 years and served as an advisor for the high school literary magazine. A member of several educational organizations, in 1989 he was nominated for and recognized by the school administration with a Distinguished Teacher citation. He retired from teaching in 1992 before returning to his native state of Maine where he moved into Parker Ridge, a retirement community in Blue Hill, just 15 miles southwest of the small coastal town where he grew up.
While Ralph enjoyed traveling in his early teaching years and made several trips to the lands of his ancestors—Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland—he visited the European continent only once (in 1982).
During his Connecticut years he made frequent trips into New York City to attend theater and musical events and to visit art galleries. A lifelong Anglophile, especially of British writers, he spent two summer vacations in the mid-80s at Cambridge University in England teaching American high school students about the writers of his favorite periods of English literature: the nineteenth century Romantic and Victorian movements. But at least part of every summer vacation involved a return trip to Maine to visit family and friends.
He enjoyed amateur writing when he wasn’t reading or listening mostly to classical music. Three of his favorite composers were Mozart, Schubert and Mendelssohn, the last named with whom he shared a birthday. Believing that Dustin and William Farnum, two famous early twentieth century actor brothers who grew up in his hometown of Bucksport, had not received the recognition their theater and film careers merited, Ralph published a book in 2000 entitled The Farnum Brothers of Bucksport. Between them, the brothers made almost 200 movies in the infancy days of filmdom, to say nothing of their years in the theater. The older brother, Dustin, is buried in Silver Lake Cemetery in Bucksport, Maine. This quiet cemetery, overlooking serene Silver Lake, always struck Ralph as a pastoral rival for the third-act cemetery in Thornton Wilder’s fictional play Our Town. It is here that Ralph’s ashes will be interred.
Ralph is survived by his brother, Robert Pettie of Glenmont, New York, and two nephews (and their families): Mark Pettie of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, and David Pettie of Delmar, New York. Ralph is survived by several cousins in Maine, New York, and Canada.
To honor Ralph’s love of animals, those who wish to do so may send a memorial contribution to the Bangor Humane Society, 693 Mt. Hope Avenue, Bangor, ME 04401.
Condolences may be expressed at jordanfernald.com.
James Freeman Jaffray
Blue Hill—James Freeman Jaffray (our Gumpy) died peacefully in his sleep on June 23, 2015, at his home in Blue Hill. He was born in Minneapolis, Minn., on September 1, 1919, and had a great run in life.
Jim was a graduate of Shattuck School and Yale University (1941). He served as a U.S. Army Major during World War II in the North African and Italian campaigns. After the war, he joined the National City Bank of New York (now Citigroup) and, from 1968 to 1974, was Senior Vice President and Financial Officer. His board affiliations included the Metropolitan Opera, Boy Scouts of America (N.Y.) and Christ’s Church in Rye, N.Y.
In 1976 Jim retired to Maine and subsequently served as Financial Vice President of Husson College (now University) from 1977 to 1984. He also served on the boards of the Bangor Savings Bank, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, Northern New England School of Banking, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital and the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill.
In 1946 he married Margaret Sterling Lambie, who died in 1992. The following year Jim married Helen Zabriskie Lippincott, who passed away in 2010. He was fortunate to have all of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren living in the Blue Hill area.
He is survived by his children: Jim Jaffray Jr. (and wife, Barbara), Lucy Jaffray and Kate Tapley (with family friend, Bob Tapley); step-children: Helene Peterson of Tybee Island, Ga., Suzanne Crase (and husband, Steve) of Denver, Colo., William Lippincott (and wife, Dorothy) of Hampden, Maine, and John Lippincott of Wesley Hills, N.Y.; grandchildren: Sarah King (and husband, Wilson), Anna Tapley, Noah Tapley (and wife, Sarah), Curtis Jaffray (and wife, Nikki) and step-grandchild Lindsay Peterson; great-grandchildren Lily Jaffray, Grace Jaffray, Aubrey King, Hannah King and Finley Picton, plus a sixth great-grandchild (Noah and Sarah) who has yet to arrive; and his sister, Harriet Pratt (and husband, Walter) of Minneapolis, Minn. He was predeceased by his brother, Clive Jaffray; sister, Monie Jaffray; and his granddaughter, Hannah Jaffray.
Jim requested a private family service, which will be held later this summer. Contributions in his memory can be made to the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill, P.O. Box 444, Blue Hill ME 04614; The Tree of Life, P.O. Box 1329, Blue Hill, ME 04614; or Yesterday’s Children, Inc., P.O. Box 829, Ellsworth, ME 04605, an organization for the developmentally disabled that provided wonderful care for his granddaughter, Hannah.
Condolences may be expressed at jordanfernald.com.
Laura Gray Hatch
Laura Gray Hatch, 95, died June 23, 2015, in Camden, Maine. She was born to Henry and Minnie Clement Gray on November 30, 1919, in Hardwick, Vt., where her father had relocated the family to work as a granite cutter.
Laura moved with her family back to their home on the Bagaduce River in Penobscot when she was a young girl. She was educated in Penobscot, graduated from Clark High School and attended the Eastern State Normal School where she met her husband, Merton “Spunk” Hatch. They were married in 1939.
Laura, who began her career as a teacher, took her first political plunge in 1960 when she was elected town tax collector in Castine. Since there were no offices in the Town Hall, people came to her home at all hours of the day and night to pay their taxes and register their cars, a system that worked well as she was also busy raising four sons at the time. Laura served as town tax collector for more than 30 years, and on her retirement in the early 1990s the Castine selectmen designated January 28 as Laura Hatch Day. Always an active member of the community, she was past president of the Castine Woman’s Club and an honorary director of the Castine Historical Society; she served as a member of the Castine Cemetery Committee, the Mary Cushman Circle and a was longtime member of the Trinitarian Congregational Parish of Castine. In her younger years she could often be found playing doubles on the tennis court or traveling the country visiting family and friends. She was known to start a conversation with a stranger wherever she went. Laura’s strong character and determination never diminished.
Laura was predeceased by her husband, her brother Harold Gray, and her eldest son Harold Babcock Hatch.
She is survived by her sons, Stephen of North Andover, Mass.; James of Prospect, Maine; David (Susan) of Castine; daughter-in-law Andrea of Castine and Colorado Springs, Colo. “Grammie/Gram/Miggie” was a devoted grandmother to her nine grandchildren, James (Amy) of Tacoma, Wash.; Sarah Hatch-Wright (Fred), Mark (Anne), all of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Marc of Sparks, Nev.; Marcie Bradley (Devin) of Truckee, Calif.; James (Teri) of Bangor, Maine; Matthew (Stacey) of Pittsfield, Maine; Betsy Libby (Jason) of New Gloucester, Maine, and Joshua (Vanessa) of Sedgwick, Maine. She also leaves 15 great-grandchildren who made her smile, Wesley Wright, Adabelle Wright, Katherine Hatch, Heather Hatch, Shauna Hatch, Moriah-May Hatch, AJ Hatch, Jonathan Hatch, Emelyn Hatch, Carter Libby, Jackson Libby, Jameson Hatch, Ellery Bradley, Oakley Hatch and Sarah Hatch.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Windward Gardens in Camden for their support and kindness.
There will be a celebration of Laura’s life on Friday, July 10, 2015, at 2 p.m., at the Trinitarian Congregational Parish Church, Main Street, Castine. Those who wish to remember Laura in a special way may make gifts in her memory to the Trinitarian Congregational Parish of Castine, P.O. Box 108, Castine, ME 04421 or to the Castine Historical Society, P.O. Box 238, Castine, ME 04421.
Deborah Chandler Greenlaw
SEDGWICK, MAINE—Deborah Chandler Greenlaw passed away to join her beloved daughter, Lacy Chandler Greenlaw, her mother, Betty Plante, and her cat, Savannah, in Heaven on June 21, 2015.
Born in Rumford, Maine, Deborah was an accomplished and highly respected teacher and mentor at the Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School, where she taught first and second grade for over 25 years. She is known for her profound impact on several generations of young men and women, to include the establishment of the Lacy Greenlaw Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Maine in recognition of her daughter, Lacy, who passed in 2006 after a three-year battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of cancer that targets adolescents.
A private family gathering was held at Deborah’s home on June 28. A public celebration of Deborah’s life will be held on Thursday, July 2, at 6:30 p.m. at the Deer Isle Bridge Park in Deer Isle, Maine, where oriental lanterns will be released from the park area, and light refreshments served.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the University of Maine Foundation’s Lacy Greenlaw Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is awarded to a sophomore, junior, or senior in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, who has overcome personal adversity in his or her pursuit of a college education. Checks can be made payable to the University of Maine Foundation (annotate in the memo section “Lacy Greenlaw Memorial Scholarship Fund”). Payments can also be made by credit card over the phone by calling 1-800-982-8503. Donation forms to accompany checks can be found at umainefoundation.org and should be sent to University of Maine Foundation, 2 Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04469.