Captain Arthur J. Fournier, Tugboat Co. Railroad owner and former Portland Harbor docking pilot passed away Nov. 16, 2013 after a brief illness.

He was born in Somerville, Mass. April 28, 1931, the first of four sons to Arthur and Catherine Fournier.

Growing up in Somerville near the banks of the Mystic River formed his life-long association with his love of the sea. From peddling fish door to door from his bike with makeshift icebox attached, to building lobster traps in his parents’ basement, to setting up an office under the family's stairwell, he was well on his way to bigger and better things — school unfortunately was not one of them.

At 15 years of age, Arthur was on a barge headed for Havana, Cuba starting his years of towing barges up and down the Eastern Seaboard. In 1948 when he was working as a deckhand on the Tug D.T. Sheridan it ran aground in dense fog off Monhegan Island in Maine, and the crew was rescued by islanders.

There was a short hiatus from the sea for a few years when he joined the Marines.

A true learning experience was working for Mr. Boylen of Boston Sand and Gravel Boston, Mass., moving gravel barges. "It was better than four years at Harvard Business," Arthur always said of Mr. Boylen’s mentorship.

For many years in the ‘70s Arthur operated pier 50 in Charlestown, Mass. and was chief of the auxiliary police in Winthrop, Mass. right before he moved to Maine.

In 1977 came the opportunity to purchase Eastern Maine Towage Co. in Belfast, Maine which he operated for 13 years before selling and then re-purchasing in 2005. To this day the company is operated by his sons, Captains Douglas and Patrick Fournier.

He moved to Portland, Maine in 1989 to establish Portland Tugboat & Ship Docking Co. and to become the senior docking pilot. Being a pilot in Portland Harbor was his ultimate job; the passion for his work was so very strong he rarely left the shipping channel. A career mentored by his dad is now held by oldest son Brian.

Owning a house on a small Bahamas island he rarely visited, he had friends, family business associates to whom he would graciously offer his island home.

Being the 2001 Portland Maine Maritime Man of the Year meant a lot to him. His proud association with Bath Iron Works was a big part of his life in the ‘80s. He always had an outside project, some of which included providing fireworks barges in the ‘80s for Arthur Fielders Fourth of July fireworks show on the Charles River in Boston with the Boston Pops show, the turning of the USS Constitution in 1987 which he bid for one penny to get the job. "I only wanted to do it once," Arthur said, it was indeed one of his proudest moments to have the care, custody and control of that historic ship in its annual turn around. The early ‘80s brought a fun project of helping bring the NYC 16 Tugboat to Buzzard’s Bay, Mass. for friend Howie Shaw's Grandma's Restaurant attraction. The fact that this was a sister boat to the tugboat used in the filming of the movie Funny Girl in which Barbara Streisand sang “Don't Rain on my Parade" was not lost on Art, being a Broadway musical buff.

The last months of his Illness was a privilege for the family to care for him at home and share time watching his beloved musicals, Patriots football games on Sundays. He would also have his dear friend Jay Cashman from Boston come up to watch many of the Red Sox's World Series games. His trusty tug worker turned personal aide. "Mr. Flaco" was always at his side.

Predeceased by his beloved son William Fournier in 1985, Arthur is survived by his loving wife Beth of South Portland; sons Brian and wife Julie Fournier of Scarborough, Maine, Douglas of Northport Maine and Patrick of South Portland; a daughter Catherine McClarity of Winthrop, Mass; and five grandchildren.

Visiting hours will be held Thursday Nov. 21 from 4 – 7 p.m. at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22 with a reception to follow until 5 p.m. at the Gateway Terminal, 14 Ocean Gate Pier in Portland, Maine.

The family wishes to thank VNA Home Health Hospice for their wonderful nurses and support. In lieu of flowers a scholarship fund will be set up in his name. Those wishing may donate to the Captain Arthur J. Fournier Scholarship Fund, Maine Maritime Academy C/O Development Office, Pleasant Street, Castine, Maine, 04420.