Gregory W. Sanborn, 47
Governor Paul R. LePage is among many in Maine mourning the loss of longtime State Game Warden Major Gregory “Gregg” Sanborn, who died Tuesday after a courageous battle against cancer.
Sanborn, 47 and a native of Fryeburg, was a 23-year veteran of the Maine Warden Service, most recently its second in command.
“Major Sanborn embodied what it means to be a Maine Game Warden, and was a true ambassador of our great outdoors and our entire State,” said Governor LePage. “I had the privilege to meet Gregg several times and was always humbled by his commitment to public service and his passion for life, even as he fought this horrible disease. The First Lady and I extend our thoughts and prayers to his family, and his extended family at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.”
SIDNEY — Gregory W. Sanborn, 47, died on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, in Augusta.
Gregg was born on Nov. 11, 1965, in Bridgton, the son of Harold and Blanche (Woods) Sanborn. He graduated from Fryeburg Academy with the Class of 1984 and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine in 1988. He taught industrial arts at Valley High School in Bingham and Molly Ockett Middle School in Fryeburg.
Gregg’s lifelong dream to become a Maine Game Warden became a reality in 1990, after graduating from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Waterville and from the Maine Warden School, which was held at the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Barring. Gregg’s first assignment as a new game warden was in the southernmost part of Maine, where he was assigned to the Kittery district. His upbringing in a rural part of Maine did not hinder his ability to settle in and meet the challenges of a highly-populated area of the state. Gregg’s ability to develop meaningful relationships within local communities and within the law enforcement community became one of his hallmarks. He believed in the mission of the Maine Warden Service and he used every available resource to not only meet those goals, but also to broaden and enhance them.
Gregg met his wife Deb (Currier) and their son David of South Berwick and they were married in 1994.
Current Chief of Police in Eliot and retired Maine State Police Lieutenant Ted Short, said, “When I met Warden Sanborn, the new district warden in the Kittery area, it was instantly clear that he was proud to be a Maine Game Warden. From that moment on, we worked, snowmobiled, and hunted together, but above all else, Gregg became a trusted friend. We chose our respective professions to make a difference and Gregg truly did.”
In 1993, Warden Sanborn transferred from the Kittery District to the Sebago District, which is one of the busiest districts in the state. Fellow Game Warden, Neal Wykes, and Gregg instantly became effective co-workers and best friends. Warden Wykes said, “Gregg became a good and loyal friend. You will not meet a more or dedicated game warden than Warden Sanborn.”
Warden Sanborn’s professionalism and demeanor enabled him to affect positive change, not only with his co-workers, but also within the sporting community. Nat Berry, IV was Gregg’s lieutenant at the time he patrolled the Kittery and Sebago districts. Lt. Berry said, “To my surprise, Gregg settled in and patrolled the districts with more enthusiasm than I had ever seen in the busiest and most populated districts in the State of Maine. Gregg had a knack of interacting with the public and at the same time he wrote more summons and warnings than any warden before or after him, and the amazing part was he never generated a letter of complaint.”
Gregg continued living and patrolling the Sebago district until he was promoted to sergeant in November 1997.
His career as a sergeant started in Calais until he transferred to Lincoln, where he, Deb and David moved into their first home. Gregg’s lieutenant while working in the Lincoln area was Pat Dorian. According to Lt. Dorian, “Gregg had extraordinary common sense and had a gift for reading a person’s body language. He had a keen sense of fairness and he believed in doing what was right for the entire agency. He could look at the big picture and understand how it would impact the Maine Warden Service.”
In August 2004, Gregg was promoted to Major and was assigned to Augusta. As Major, Gregg was in a position that afforded him the opportunity to affect the direction of the agency. Major Sanborn worked tirelessly to uphold professional standards and to ensure that the agency was meeting the demands of a changing social and economic environment. He was very proud to have reestablished the five divisions within the state. He played a key role in obtaining the resources to modernize the department’s equipment and technological capabilities. As Major, he understood that the heart and soul of the department and the future success of the agency as the true stewards of Maine’s resources was the ability to hire men and women who shared his passion and dedication. He was instrumental in implementing a hiring process that recruited wardens who will insure that the Maine Warden Service will be prepared for all future challenges.
He is survived by his loving wife, Deborah Sanborn of Sidney; son, David Currier of Sidney; mother, Blanche Sanborn of Fryeburg; and brother, Timothy Sanborn of Standish.
He was predeceased by his father, Harold Sanborn in 2005.
Due to Friday's impending snowstorm, the events celebrating the life of Gregg Sanborn have been changed.
Visiting hours have been moved to Sunday, Feb. 10 from 4 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, 15 Oak Grove Road in Vassalboro. Gregg's funeral is now on Monday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. Transportation from Fryeburg to the funeral has been arranged by coach bus by The Friends of Gregg Sanborn at a cost of $25 per seat. Please contact Marion Brine of Fryeburg at (207) 935-2974 if you are interested.
The Celebration of Life hosted by the Friends of Gregg Sanborn will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at Fryeburg Academy’s Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, Bradley Street, Fryeburg.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial donations be sent to the Maine Warden Service Relief Association’s Scholarship Fund, MWSA Relief Association Scholarship Fund, 284 State Street, #41 SHS, Augusta Maine 04333-0041. Or, please consider a memorial donation in Gregg’s name to Fryeburg Academy. These funds will establish a gift or scholarship in Gregg’s name.
To leave a message of kindness for the family please visit www.shoreynichols.com
Care has been provided by Shorey-Nichols Funeral Home, 191 Hartland Avenue, Pittsfield.