Waldo County lost people from all walks of life in 2021, many of whom made a difference in their communities and beyond. While we cannot chronicle all of those departed friends and neighbors, here are some:

Dr. Dana Whitten opened Waldo County’s first pediatric practice in 1976, treated our children for more than 40 years, held call-in sessions for parents and made house calls. A resident of Northport, he died Jan. 19 at age 81.

Crusading journalist Peter Taber, 74, of Searsport died Feb. 8. Also an environmental activist, Peter was a reporter for the now-defunct Waldo Independent and subsequently wrote for the Bangor Daily News.

A new 4-H scholarship honors Joyce Weaver of Winterport for her 20 years of service to Waldo County youth. She died Feb. 15 at 60.

Gerald Rumney, 87, of Searsport, died Feb. 26. Jerry served 21 years in the Air Force, including two tours in Vietnam, and received the Bronze Star. He co-owned Fox Landing (“Foxy’s”) in Belfast and The Mariners Restaurant in Searsport.

Artist Denise Remy, 69, co-founder of Artfellows Gallery in Belfast, died Feb. 28.

Lloyd Wentworth, right, and Bobby Porter, his “right-hand man,” a few years ago sitting on the foundation of what is now New World Organics, located behind the Wentworth Professional Building on Waldo Avenue in Belfast.

Brothers Lloyd Wentworth, 91, and Basil Wentworth, 89, died March 1 and Oct. 12, respectively. Lloyd’s Searsport electrical business expanded to Belfast, with Wentworth Hardware (now Wentworth Professional Building), WenBelle Apartments and Wentworth Event Center. Basil spent his career with Farmers Home Administration before retiring to his first love, the family farm in Knox.

Ivan Kenniston, 94, died March 2. An Army private in World War II, his love of kids took him to Regional School Unit 20 as a custodian and school bus driver. He delighted in competing in school bus driver rodeos, picking up several trophies.

During his career in construction, Roy Rodgers, 67, built, restored or remodeled over 60 homes in the Belfast area, including a duplex for his mom, Rosie. A 20-year member of Come Boating!, he was one of the group’s two longest-serving coxswains. He died March 31.

Jeremiah Sullivan, 69, of Thorndike died April 2. “Butch” founded Sullivan’s Waste Disposal & Recycling.

Unity College named its library after Dorothy Webb Quimby, its first librarian from 1965 to her retirement as professor emerita in 2001. Faculty adviser to hundreds of students, Dorothy became known as the “Mother of the Alumni.” She died April 5 at 91.

Jacqueline McCormick, 91, died April 9. Unity’s postmaster for 23 years, she was president of the National Association of Postmasters, a Unity College trustee, a charter member and president of Unity Rotary, and organist for Unity United Methodist Church.

Belfast potter Jamie Oates died April 14 at 73. He and wife Jeannette Faunce established Mainely Pottery in 1988; the popular shop closed in October. Known for his whale-handled mugs and whimsical laughing Buddhas, Jamie was president of the Maine Crafts Guild and a member of Belfast Curling Club.

Robert Christian “Chris” Dolloff of Belfast, an international award-winning chocolate chemist, died April 16 at 73. Among his credits, he formulated cocoa for the Oreo cookie and for Paul Newman’s chocolate products. His mantra: “Chocolate is not candy.”

A Virginia beauty queen in her youth, Kate Hanbury was the only Maine chef to earn four four-star reviews for four different restaurants from the Maine Sunday Telegram. She worked her culinary magic at The Ridge House in Brooks and Penobscot Meadows Inn, Belfast. In a second career, Kate was an addiction counselor for 20 years. She died April 21 at 74.

John Phillips, 88, of Belfast died May 3. He was controller at Penobscot Poultry for 22 years, Belfast city treasurer for 18 years, and a commander of Frank D. Hazeltine American Legion Post 43.

Vietnam veteran Kenneth Green of Stockton Springs died May 13. He crafted some 4,000 Native American-style wooden flutes, while his wife, Laura Lee Perkins, wrote learn-to-play books. Together they produced CDs, taught classes and were artists in residence at four national parks.

Jeffery Richards, 60, devoted his life to firefighting. He joined the Belfast Fire Department in 1981 and served 40 years alongside his father, Chief Jim Richards, and his son Jay. Jeffery was training officer, then lieutenant and finally captain. He died May 19.

Gifted fiddler Loell Rodgers of Morrill, 84, died May 27. A New Jersey native, Loell moved here to Fiddlers Green Farm and joined Belfast Bay Fiddlers. As her dementia progressed, she never lost her ability to play: Friends would tune her fiddle, start a song, hand her the fiddle and she would join in.

Edward Mayer, 89, died June 25. A retired Suffolk County, New York, detective, “Pops” spent 44 years as a farmer in Liberty, where he was a selectman, fire warden for 25 years, and a member of Liberty Lodge for 40 years.

J. Bruce Probert, longtime chairman of the Searsport Planning Board.

Bruce Probert died June 25 at age 83. The longtime chairman (over 35 years) of Searsport’s Planning Board was quoted in The New York Times in 2013 about the “Thanks But No Tank” controversy’s multiple public hearings — each about 4 hours long. “Running the hearings is like flying a helicopter,” he said. “There’s a lot going on at once.”

Nassau County, New York, police detective Joseph LaMagna retired to Monroe in 1989 where, as a selectman, he helped establish a town park and a post office. He died July 15 at 87.

With just a year of study at Gorham Normal School, Margaret Cunningham was persuaded to teach 20 children in a one-room schoolhouse in East Thorndike. She taught in Belfast from the 1940s through the ’70s, finally earning her degree in 1961 – which meant the district had to double her salary. Margaret died July 11 at 103.

Mary Ellen Twombley, 79, was known for building her own cordwood house in Knox. She also was instrumental, together with Clayton Larrabee, in restoring the East Knox schoolhouse. Mary Ellen died Aug. 5.

Dana Skinner of Belfast raised an estimated 8 million broilers for Penobscot Poultry Co., worked for 30 years as a longshoreman, and sold real estate for 35 years after poultry farming left Maine. Later, as a car salesman in Bangor, he moved with his wife to Hampden, where he was a member of the Town Council and the Water District board. An Army veteran who served in Korea, he was pleased to take an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. Dana died Aug. 10 at 92.

Dicky Read of Searsmont died Aug. 17 at 59. Widely known as “MacGuyver,” Dicky could fix anything – and did so for a broad following.

Mike Hall, 91, died Sept. 7. A journalist and lover of boats, he moved to Belfast in 1973, where he was a founding partner in Energy Unlimited, an early Belfast solar/alternative energy company. Belfast mayor 1982-85, he chaired the Belfast Free Library board, was president of Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce, and built many small boats in his workshop. An inaugural member of Come Boating!, he headed the crew that built the group’s Cornish pilot gig Belle Fast.

Multi-term Frankfort Selectman Steve Imondi, known for tilting at wind turbines, succumbed to COVID-19 early in October. He got into politics when an out-of-state corporation planned to place turbines atop Mount Waldo. Steve succeeded in persuading townspeople to pass a moratorium. He was 59.

Nature photographer Janet Morrison, 68, of Northport died Oct. 16. As chief photo stylist for Rodale Press in Emmaus, Pa., she worked on such magazines as Runners’ World, Organic Gardening, New Shelter and Bicycling. She also made costumes for Boston Opera House. Her photographs will be part of an exhibit running January through March 2022 in UMaine Hutchinson’s Fernald Art Gallery.

Russell Lord, 82, a lifelong resident of Brooks, died Nov. 8. After stints at Penobscot Poultry and Penobscot Feed Mill in Thorndike, he became business manager and transportation director for Regional School Unit 3. Active in his community, he enjoyed classical music and antique cars, but his real love was flying his airplane.

John Quirk Sr., 89, died in his Belfast home Nov. 10. John founded the chain of Quirk car dealerships that now has locations across the state. He retired in 2005 after nearly 50 years in the auto industry, turning the business over to his six sons.

 

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