Longtime area businessman Lloyd Wentworth died March 1 at the age of 91.

Wentworth will be remembered as a visionary businessman, but most importantly, as a caring and generous father, grandfather and great-grandfather to his large extended family.

Kristine Wentworth, Lloyd’s daughter from his second marriage, said she is still emotional about the passing of her father. “He didn’t have to be my father,” she said. “He wasn’t my biological father, but he brought my mother and I into the family. I have a lot of appreciation for him, to count us as his own.

“Dad had five children," she said. "Three from his first marriage, I was from his second marriage, and Kaya is his granddaughter from the second marriage, who he raised and adopted as his own child.” In all, he was “Granddad” to nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

From his marriage to his first wife, June, he had three children, David, Douglas and Deborah. Our efforts to get comments from Douglas and Deborah were unsuccessful.

“Dad literally spent his entire adult life parenting and developing businesses,” Kristine said.

Lloyd was born and raised on a farm in Knox and often shared memories of his upbringing with his family. He graduated from Maine Maritime Academy and later started his own electrical business in Searsport.

After his business grew, Lloyd moved his operation to Belfast and opened Wentworth Hardware Store on Waldo Avenue, now known as the Wentworth Professional Building. His businesses eventually included Wenbelle Apartments in Bucksport and the Wentworth Event Center in East Belfast.

Kristine remembers the hardware store as the place where she learned how to count change. “I grew up in that hardware store on Waldo Avenue,” she said. When Kristine was in eighth grade, her mother, Mary Brown, married Lloyd, and at that time, she was officially adopted into the Wentworth family.

In his later years, she said, her father would walk to downtown Belfast daily from his house on High Street, stop at the post office to talk with his friend who worked there and get his mail. He would then go to Chase’s Daily, get a muffin and a coffee, and then go to the event center and read the paper in his favorite chair at Steel’s Ledge Lounge.

“He did that six days a week,” she said.

According to Kristine, Lloyd had many friends and was invested in his community. He was an active member of the Chamber of Commerce. “Any business acumen that I have,” she said, “I can attribute to him. I’ve learned a lot from him.”

She remembers how in the summer he would grow a vegetable garden and have a small table by the edge of his yard to give out fruits and vegetables for free. Kristine now lives across the road from Lloyd’s house on High Street and said it will be hard “not seeing him in the garden.”

Kaya Wentworth said her grandfather was a “very caring person.”

He took her in when she was 2 years old and raised her as his own child. “He gave me the best life that I could have,” she said.

Kaya, who is now 19, remembers frequent trips to the family farm in Knox to ride 4-wheelers and play with pigs and cows. “When I got older, he would take me to school and walk with me to class,” she said.

“He was always so proud of how I was doing in school,” she said. "The teachers would always compliment him on how I was doing."

Kaya remembered making a wooden bench in fifth grade with her classmates. “He used it to put fruits and veggies from his garden (on) to give away for free,” she said. One day after all of the produce had been taken, someone misunderstood the sign and took the bench, too.

Kaya said he later found another table and put up a new sign that read, “Free but don’t take the bench.”

“I think people will remember how caring and generous he was,” Kaya said. “He would open his doors to all my friends and consider them all his grandchildren. All my friends refer to him as Granddad.”  Many people around town would also refer to him only as "Granddad."

A favorite memory of Kaya's is watching her grandfather dancing at her friend’s sweet 16 party. A DJ was playing music and in the middle of the room, there he was, dancing like he was in his youth. “We all just gathered around him,” she said.

Kaya wrote in a recent Facebook post, “Not a day goes by that you’re not on my mind, I hope I’m making you proud. Zoey (his dog) sleeps with me every night and she misses you so much too. It still doesn’t feel real that you’re gone. I love you forever and always grandad.”

Kristine wrote, “… I will miss our long talks, especially his blunt feedback that I didn’t always like to hear. I have been blessed beyond measure to have the father I did.”

Belfast City Councilor Mike Hurley said he knew Lloyd in several different capacities, remembering him as an active business developer who was “very pro-Belfast and very sensible.”

He understood the community and the changes that were constantly happening, Hurley said. “Belfast is a changing place,” he said, “and Lloyd loved change.” According to Hurley, Belfast has changed for the better, and “Lloyd was definitely part of that.”

“He was very a easygoing and reasonable person who would tell you what he thought in a positive way, even if he disagreed with you,” he said.

Lloyd also had a pretty good vision of what was good for Belfast and what was not, Hurley said. “He without a doubt had the wisdom, and he had the experience of doing a lot of different stuff.”

"It's easy to get old and get conservative and slow down," Hurley said. "Lloyd never did."

“He was a great citizen …,” he said, and on top of everything, he was “a really nice guy.”

Justin Olsen, owner of New World Organics in Belfast, said he had a good business relationship with Lloyd Wentworth. He described his former landlord as “willing to take chances” and open-minded when it came to business.

The cannabis dispensary Olsen owns and operates behind the Wentworth Professional Building was built by Lloyd. “He built this place for me,” Olsen said. “I saw the writing on the wall about six years ago when I met him.”

“People were surprised when we started working together,” he said. Up until recently, Olsen said, Lloyd was working in the building, replacing ceiling tiles, landscaping and gardening.

“He is just a great guy,” Olsen said, “He will be missed. He made Belfast a better city for sure.”