Alexander H. Duthie, 80

Alexander Duthie

Alexander Duthie

FRYEBURG — Alexander Harry “Al” Duthie, 80, of Fryeburg, formerly of Shelburne, Vt., died on July 20, 2014, ending a journey that showed his remarkable strength, perseverance, and unwavering character while battling diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

Al was born in Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada, on Nov. 12, 1933, son of the late Harry Alexander and Delina (LeBlanc) Duthie. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Beverly (Osgood) Duthie; his brother-in-law, Lee Stanley; brother-in-law James Osgood and his wife Donna Osgood; and brother-in-law Gerald Kiesman; as well as many nieces and nephews. Al was predeceased by his sister Margaret Stanley, of Abilene, Tex.; father-in-law Earl P. Osgood and mother-in-law Leona Osgood of Fryeburg; sister-in-law Shirley Kiesman of Fryeburg; brother-in-law Clarence “Bub” Osgood and his wife Marguerite Osgood, also of Fryeburg; and a grandson, Alexander Osgood Fox, of Essex Junction, Vt.

Al was raised and attended schools in Madawaska. He had fond memories of playing ice hockey and basketball while he was growing up. He earned a bachelor’s degree in dairy technology from the University of Maine, in Orono, and then served in the United States Army from 1956–1958. Al was naturalized as a U.S. citizen on Jan. 8, 1958. After the army, he earned a master’s degree in dairy manufacturing and technology from the University of Connecticut, and a doctorate in dairy science and biochemistry from Pennsylvania State University. Al met his wife Beverly while they were both students at the University of Maine, and they married on March 4, 1957. Their commitment to each other was inspiring, and a wonderful example of the vows a couple exchange at their marriage.

He was hired by the University of Vermont as an assistant professor, in 1964, promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1968, and to full professor in 1972. In his 26 years at U.V.M., with the Department of Animal Sciences, he earned an international reputation for flavor research involving milk and dairy products, as well as his work in new product development, including maple yogurts, ice creams, and boruga, (a yogurt drink). He was also widely-recognized by his peers for developing a new gas chromatography test to detect vegetable fat adulteration of dairy foods, and for helping to establish the Northeast Dairy Foods Research Center. He holds the distinction of being the first University Scholar in Biological Sciences, (1980–1981), and was a member of four national honorary societies and three academic journal editorial boards. His dedication to U.V.M. was continuous, proven by the number of committees on which he served and the number of undergraduate and graduate students he advised throughout his career. After his retirement in 1989, he and his wife decided to move to the house where she grew up, in Fryeburg. He had a huge garden there, and a market stand where people would pay for vegetables and gladiola flowers by the honor system.

Al accomplished much during his lifetime, but he was most proud of his family. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, son, and brother, and he cherished his family, deeply.

He was a supportive father and great provider to his six children: Alexander Earl Duthie and his wife, Holli, of Rochelle, Ill., Christa Duthie-Fox and her husband, James Fox, of Essex Junction, Vt., Cynthia Gage and her husband, Richard, of Ferrisburgh, Vt., Christina Littlefield and her husband, Bradford, of Fryeburg, Catherine Duthie and her husband, Jotham Oliver, of Fryeburg, and Candice Godfrey and her husband, Gregg, of Plymouth, Mass.

He was a caring and gentle grandfather to ten grandchildren: Alexander Bradley Duthie (and his wife, Catherine), of Aberdeen, Scotland, Emily (Duthie) David (and her husband, Michael), of DeKalb, Ill., Eric Duthie, Preston Gage, Shelby Gage, James Fox, Kyle Littlefield, Alexandra Godfrey, Ashley Godfrey, and Hana Duthie Oliver.

Al will be remembered as a generous, loving man, whose strength and integrity was admired by many people. His children and grandchildren will feel his spirit when they are fishing on Kezar Pond, watching the harness races at Fryeburg Fair, watching the Red Sox play, and tending to their vegetable gardens…The things that he was happy doing while he was with them. His solid values, determination, and consideration for others will live on through the family he taught these traits to, and he will be greatly missed, because he was loved so very much.

Family will honor him at a private ceremony, carrying out his wishes that his ashes be joined with the garden he so meticulously cared for, in Fryeburg. He will forever nurture the soil he enjoyed rototilling, planting, and watering, and the garden will be more beautiful in the years to come because he is a part of it.

His family wishes to extend gratitude to those who cared for our Dad at the Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., the Maine Medical Center in Portland, as well as those staff members who supported him at the rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility where he received care. His family also expresses deep appreciation and thanks to Life Choice Hospice, in particular, Lynne, Christy, Paula, and Jo.

A gathering, for all who wish to join together to share memories, will be held at 12 noon, on Sunday, Oct. 12, at 28 Drift Road, Fryeburg, Maine.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Al’s memory to: Life Choice Hospice Foundation, 65 Lafayette Road, Suite 302, North Hampton, NH 03862, or the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (https://support.pdf.org), 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018.

Arrangements are made with Wood Funeral Home, Fryeburg. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.woodfuneralhome.org

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