Ralph Painter Howe, Jr., 74, was born Jan. 17, 1939, in Bridgeport, Conn., to Phyllis A. Howe and Ralph Painter Howe Sr. He went to be with the Lord he learned to trust on Feb. 19, 2013.

He was many things to many people — he was husband, father, grandfather or papa, brother, teacher, hunting partner, friend. He lived an adventurous life, from teaching to hunting, fishing, sailing, photography, planes, trains, gardening to raising beef critters to free-range chickens. He loved his family and his beloved dogs. He learned to love God and to trust him.

He loved learning and always read to learn, to teach to others. The whole world was his classroom. He attended Belfast schools and Hebron Academy. He attended Tufts University, majoring in chemistry. He received a master's  degree in biochemistry from the University of Maine Orono in 1962.

He taught in Gorham,  N.H., at George Stevens Academy and Cony High School. After retiring from public school teaching, he became head teacher and administrator of Belfast Christian Academy at Faith Temple Church of God. After BCA closed, he traveled to Pen-Bay Christian for a year. He substituted at BAHS for several science teachers.

Whether on the ocean and via the woods or classrooms, he lived life to the fullest. For the past three years, he spent many hours at DCI with the loving people who took such good care of him. We thank God for each and every one.

Painter is survived by his wife of 22 years, Sharon (Murray) Howe. He was father to four children, two by birth and two by choice. Ralph P. Howe III from South China and grandaughter Katelyn, Laura Howe Gurney and husband Nathan; granddaughters Lily and Abby Gurney from Milford; Aaron Cunningham and fiancee Natalie Bowden, grandsons Isaak, Randy and Alex; granddaughter Mackenzie Grace, Amanda Young Benitez and husband Lee Benitez, granddaughter Angela Benitez; grandsons Carlos & Marcos Benitez; a brother, Henry " T" Howe and wife Betty; two sisters, Pat Brenner and husband Ken from Arizona, Laura Howe Raft of East Providence, R.I.; brothers-in law Grover Curtis and Charles Wiley and his wife Polly; cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends and former students.

He was predeceased by his parents.

He will be missed by all who knew him. Visiting hours were held Feb. 22 at Riposta Funeral Home. A celebration of life was held Feb. 23 at Faith Temple Church Of God with the Rev. Mike Horton and Arthur P. Fairbrother Jr. officiating.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to DCI Dialysis Unit, 125 Northport Ave., Belfast, ME 04915. Online condolences may be offered at www.ripostafh.com.