Bernard M. Ducy Jr.

GRAY — Bernard (“Bernie”) M. Ducy Jr., 71, passed away on Friday, July 1, 2011 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

Bernie was born to Bernard M. and Arline G. (Arey) Ducy on March 23, 1940 in Portland. As a young boy, he recorded his favorite song You are My Sunshine and continued to sing it with his grandchildren. Bernie lived in Portland until his teen years when his family moved to Gray. He graduated in 1958 from Pennell Institute, where he was a star basketball player. In June 1959, he enlisted in the United States Navy and attended Submarine School and S/M Diesel Engine School. Bernie received a Good Conduct Medal, served on the USS Halfbeak submarine, and received an honorable discharge in May 1963. He continued in the Naval Reserves until June 1965.

During leave, he met the love of his life and on Aug. 8, 1964 married Sandra Mae Garland. They were married for 42 years and four days.

Bernie was extremely skilled in carpentry and he built their first home on Long Hill Road. Bernie worked at the American Can Company in Portland. He was a very talented machinist and in later years he worked at Nichols Portland, Clarostat in Norway and in 2002 retired from Parker Nichols in Portland as a tool and die maker. After retirement he operated an antique business in Gray, Barnyard Antiques, with Sandy.

One of Bernie’s amazing qualities was his love and compassion for people and animals. When Bernie saw a need, he sent his love. On many occasions, he would place an inconspicuous $20 or $100 dollar bill in your hand.

Animals were a major love in his life. Always having one or more to care for, raise and love. He raised German shepherd puppies, sheep, chickens, turkeys, geese, beef animals and pigs (what an experience it is to chase pigs when they escape down the road). A few cats and doggie companions, including “Ladybug,” his little Shih Tzu that kept him company after losing Sandy.

Bernie had many passions and will be remembered for his witty, dry sense of humor. Fishing with his daughter on Range Pond, catching white perch was a highlight. He took great pride in his immaculate lawns and meticulous vegetable gardens. The garden rows straight as arrows having no weeds. Even those that didn’t know him would stop to comment on the beauty. Many, many hours were spent with his wife and lifelong friends Barry and Nancy Carver Mains playing cards. Bernie and Nancy were cousins, but in Bernie’s heart they were brother and sister.

After attending church on Sundays, most recently Pathway Vineyard in Lewiston and previously at Trinity Church in Gray, he spent afternoons enjoying a NASCAR race or a Boston Red Sox game with his son Bruce. In the evenings he enjoyed going with his grandchildren Emily and Michael to the Dugout in Windham for an ice cream. Bernie never missed an opportunity to indulge in the extraordinary goodies baked by his granddaughter Emily, to stop for an ice cream or his weekly trip or two to Roy’s Hamburger in Auburn. It goes without saying, if you knew Bernie, the light of his life and reason to continue the fight were for his daughter and her family.

Bernie was predeceased by his parents; a son Michael Anthony and his loving wife Sandy.

He leaves behind a brother, Gilbert Ducy of Waterford; a daughter Brenda Sawyer of Gray and two grandchildren; a son Ronald and his children.

Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, July 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Wilson Funeral Home in Gray. There will be no funeral services.

Memorial donations may be made to: Gray Fire and Rescue, 125 Shaker Road, Gray, ME 04039.

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