D. Michael Frink, Esq.

PORTLAND — David Michael Frink, 57, of Newcastle, died at Maine Medical Center in Portland on July 11, 2011.

His life was filled by the people he loved, and his many professional, civic and personal interests, culminating in 18 holes of golf at Poland Spring and a swim in Little Sebago Lake where he was on vacation with his family when he was suddenly struck down by a cerebral aneurysm.

Born in Hartford, Conn., to David Alfred and Marie (Cavanaugh) Frink on Nov. 16, 1953, he grew up in the Farmington Valley where he was shaped by the strong personalities of his grandparents. Whether at the Connecticut shore, the woods surrounding Great Pond or among the Barndoor Hills overlooking tobacco country, Michael made powerful connections with his own sense of place.

Following his graduation from Simsbury High School in 1971, he entered Dartmouth College where he majored in government and philosophy. He graduated, cum laude, in 1976. His love for learning and cultural immersion took him in many directions: to Salamanca University in Spain and The University of Edinburgh, and later in life, with Zen teacher Robert Aitken, within the Diamond Sangha to a zendo near Honolulu, Hawaii.

Eventually, he followed the same career path chosen by Grandpa Cavanaugh, who served as in-house counsel to Aetna, Inc. While at Suffolk University in Boston, Michael was made Editor-in-Chief of its Law Review. After earning his Juris Doctorate in 1981, he clerked for the Hon. Hugh H. Bownes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Judge Bownes, a civil rights crusader, prison reformer and champion of war protesters and feminists, made an indelible impression on Michael, who also treated everyone, young and old, with the same courtesy, humor and respect.

Michael came to Maine seeking a life that combined his professional development with the outdoors and boating. He worked in the public sector as assistant attorney general. In 1986, he was recruited by Curtis Thaxter of Portland, where he became a principal lawyer in administrative, insurance and healthcare specialties, as well as government affairs, public policy and litigation. Named among Woodward and White’s Best Lawyers, he was also the only attorney in Maine admitted to the Federation of Regulatory Counsel. He was frequently asked to speak and write about health care reform and, in particular, Maine’s experience in the national context. He was recently selected to participate in the prestigious health care leadership program of the Daniel Hanley Center, in conjunction with the Institute for Civic Leadership, where a network of leaders are working to transform health care in Maine.

He married Martha Chaplin Stetson on the island of Kauai in 1995 and together they made their home on a hilltop in Newcastle, where they enjoyed cultivating gardens and friendships and many hours of treasured family time.

Michael served on the boards of Lincoln Academy, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Kennebec Valley YMCA. Some of his greatest pleasures, however, came from coaching youth basketball at the Central Lincoln County YMCA, plying the waters beyond Sheepscot Bay, swimming at the Bath YMCA, painting and making music with a group of friends who called themselves “The Colliders.”

In addition to his wife and parents, Michael leaves his son Julian; step-children, Leah Stetson of Raymond and Tad Stetson of Whitefield; his sister Ann-Marie (Amy) Frink of Lakewood, Colo., his brother Richard Frink of East Granby, Conn.; three nephews and three nieces; two aunts.

He was previously deceased by his sister, Marcia Ann.

A service of remembrance will be held for Michael on Aug. 6, at the First Congregational Church in Wiscasset, at 2 p.m., with The Rev. Mary Ann Hoy. Please visit www.jonesrichandhutchins.com for additional information and to sign Michael’s guestbook. Arrangements are being handled by the Jones, Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home, 199 Woodford Street, Portland.

The family requests memorial contributions may be made to: Lincoln Academy, 81 Academy Hill, Newcastle, ME 04553 or the Little Sebago Lake Association, P.O. Box 912, Windham, ME 04062-0912.

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