The family of John Scates, age 89, has announced his death on Thursday, May 11, 2017, at Maine Veterans Home, Augusta. He was born in Palermo, Nov. 5, 1927, to the late Clifford E. and Laura R. (Bourassa) Scates.

John was a graduate of Erskine Academy, class of 1946. The next morning, he left for the Air Force. He took his first training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He went to Biloxi, Miss., for A&E Mechanics School. He spent service time in California then left from Washington state for Alaska on a ship that was built at Bath Iron Works. That always meant a lot to him. He was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska, as well as Kodiak and the Aleutian Islands. He was crew chief on an H5 Sikorsky helicopter in the Air and Sea Rescue Unit. Upon his father’s death back in Maine in January 1949, John was transferred to Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts. His position there was fueling the bombers in support of the Berlin Airlift in Germany. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force in June 1949.

In 1950, John married the love of his life, Jeannette A. (Wood) Scates. They have been married 66 glorious years.

John worked at Densmore Store in Branch Mills, North Vassalboro Woolen Mill and Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in the experimental testing unit in East Hartford, Conn. Upon his return to Maine in 1956, he worked at Hallowell and Webb in Augusta and for the state of Maine Department of Transportation as a mechanic, retiring in 1982.

John will be remembered for his love of family, kindness and gentleness to all young people. He loved music, singing, playing his guitar, Windsor Historical Society, hunting, fishing, attending Palermo Christian Church, camping, the Red Sox, gardening, eating out and a hot cup of coffee from Tobey’s. Anyone who knew him knew he was a great joke teller. He anxiously awaited each issue of The Reader’s Digest for fresh material.

John was predeceased by his sister, Juanita Rines, her husband Joseph and a nephew, Jack Rines.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jeannette (Wood) Scates; his children: Kerry and Deborah Scates, Rudy Scates and AJ Dinkins, Linda and Tom Vigue and Dennis and Tracy Scates. He has seven grandchildren: Derek and Liz Scates, Jennie and Steve Williams, Andrew and Renée Scates, Sarah and Steve Finley, Brian Vigue, Peter Misiura, Cassie Scates and Shyler Scates; three great-grandchildren: Katherine, Steven and Victoria Williams; brother-in-law Allen Wood and his wife Gloria; nephew Joseph Rines and wife Mary, and his dear friends Fred and Nancy Williams and their families as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and many, many great friends.

The family wishes to extend their heartfelt appreciation to the doctors, nurses and staff at Maine Veterans Home for the care and compassion they showed to John and the family during his stay with them.

Relatives and friends may visit from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, May 15, at Palermo Christian Church where a funeral service will follow at 1 p.m. Burial and committal prayers with military honors will follow at East Palermo Cemetery, Palermo.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations in John's memory be given to the youth program of Palermo Christian Church, c/o Phil Hubbard, Youth Pastor, PO Box 150, Palermo, ME 04354.

In the end, it’s not the years in our life that count, it’s the life in our years. We all will miss John now that he is gone. His enormous heart has enriched our lives and changed us forever. My heart is broken to lose my beloved John.

Arrangements are under the direction of Plummer Funeral Home, 983 Ridge Road, Route 32, Windsor.

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