Obituary for LeRoy Brinkerhoff Wilson, 1919-2005

(Corrected December 23, 2005)

26 Madokawando Rd., Falmouth Foreside, Maine


LeRoy (Roy) B. Wilson of Falmouth Foreside died Tuesday, December 6 at Maine Medical Center, surrounded by family, after a short illness.

He was born November 15, 1919 in Des Moines, Iowa, son of William L. and Gertrude Brinkerhoff Wilson. He went to public schools in Des Moines then graduated from Iowa State University at Ames, Iowa, with a degree in mechanical engineering.

From college he went into the US Navy and received his commission as an Ensign. He was in the Naval Indoctrination Program at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, then was assigned to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York; later he was assigned to the repair ship ARG-4 USS Tutuila in the Pacific. He was discharged from active duty in the summer of 1946. He was recalled for the Korean Conflict and served at the U.S. Navy Receiving Station in Seattle, Washington in 1952 and 1953. He received an Honorable Discharge from the US Naval Reserve in 1961 as a Lieutenant Commander.

While in New York he lived at Trinity House, Brooklyn and met Margaret Loud White. They were married August 24, 1946 at her parent’s home, Falmouth Foreside. They moved to Evanston, Illinois where Roy worked for Illinois Bell Telephone Company for 35 years. In 1978 he and Margaret returned to Falmouth Foreside to live in the family home.

Roy was active with remodeling and maintaining the family homes in Evanston and in Falmouth. He and Margaret spent endless hours working in the gardens. At Falmouth he got annoyed that various plants would not grow better in the front garden. He enjoyed travel and numerous activities with family and friends.

Over the years Roy was involved with almost every aspect of the First Parish Church, Portland; a few highlights follow. He was founder and long time “non-officer” of the Senior Men’s Group. He served as president of the First Parish Society (now known as the Governing Board) for two terms. He was chair of the 1987-1988 Ministerial Search Committee. He was a driving force behind the appreciation of and active care of the First Parish Green Spaces and formation of the Memorial Garden. More recently he was an advocate for a comprehensive approach to the accessibility and space needs of the church.

For the Falmouth Memorial Library, Roy was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1994. As president of the Board, he spearheaded the campaign to expand the library in 1993. He was founder of the Advisory Trustee and Arts Committee. He often stopped by the library with compliments, suggestions, and flowers, and participated in library clean-up days, book sale set-up and other events. He continued to be active on various Library committees until the end.

Roy is survived by Margaret, his wife of 59 years; by daughters Anne Wilson-Dooley (Jeffrey) of Aurora, Illinois and Jane Ritter (Malcolm) of New York City; by grandchildren Sarah, James, and Carol Dooley; Matthew and Scott Ritter. He is also survived by his brother William W. Wilson of Portland, Oregon; in-laws John W.L. and Molly White of South Freeport; and 10 nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters Anna Mary Pettit (C. Edwin) and Janet Houston (Charles); and a nephew.

Memorials may be made to the First Parish Church, 425 Congress St., Portland 04101 or the Falmouth Memorial Library, 5 Lunt Rd. Falmouth, 04105

Roy’s funeral was held at the First Parish Church, 425 Congress St., Portland, at 10:30 am on Saturday December 10. Arrangements were handled by Jones, Rich, and Hutchins of Portland.

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