Maurice G. Getchell, 85

 

WESTBROOK — Maurice Guy Getchell, 85, of Westbrook, passed away in his sleep on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, at Maine Medical Center.

He was born in Portland, as Maurice Randall, the son of Mildred and Maurice Randall. He assumed the Getchell name after being adopted by his maternal grandparents, William Guy and Frances Rodman Getchell.

Maurice graduated in 1949 from Deering High School and in 1954 from Gorham State Teachers College, where he met his future wife, Judith Spiller. After graduation, he left for Bad Nauheim, Germany, where he served in the U.S. Army. Judy followed him there a year later after her own graduation, and the couple married on Sept. 28, 1955.

After returning stateside, Maurice began his teaching career in the Bridgton School District. In 1957, he became a teacher at Westbrook Junior High School, where he taught science for roughly 37 years and earned a reputation for being fun, fair, and able to easily explain difficult principles. He retired in 1994.

Maurice was a teacher not only in the classroom, but in daily life, turning basic encounters with tools, food, pets, and vehicles into learning experiences. He lived on Sargent Street for over 50 years within a tight-knit neighborhood, where parents socialized regularly on each other's porches and children played outdoors on the dead-end street. He spent many memorable summer days, year after year for over six decades, at the treasured family camp on Highland Lake.

Maurice had many soft spots, but maybe tops was his absolute love of animals. He had several four-footed companions over the years, all adopted from the local refuge league.

During his retirement, Maurice honed his woodworking skills. He built numerous bookshelves, plant stands, side tables and cabinets, and was highly sought after by friends who wanted second-hand furniture and family heirlooms refinished. He took great pride in his work and found immense joy in his basement workshop, where he spent many satisfying hours working on projects.

Maurice, known to many as “Getch,” and in recent times, occasionally as “Moe,” had a reputation for being a bit stubborn. Yet unfailingly, he exhibited immeasurable kindness toward everyone he encountered. He touched many lives as a husband, father, grandfather, uncle, teacher, neighbor, friend, and mentor with his generosity and willingness to extend a helping hand whenever needed.

In addition to his wife Judy, he is survived by his son, Dr. Rodman Getchell of Ithaca, N.Y.; son, Randall Guy of Milton, Fla.; daughter, Kim Logan of Limington; three grandchildren, a great-granddaughter and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his daughter, Karen Getchell.

A celebration of life will be held on May 13, 2017, at the Westbrook-Warren Congregational Church on Main Street in Westbrook. Online condolences may be expressed at: blaisandhayfuneralhome.com

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, P.O. Box 336, Westbrook, ME 04098, or Friends of the Walker Memorial Library, 800 Main Street, Westbrook, ME 04092, or Westbrook Warren Congregational Church, 810 Main Street, Westbrook, ME 04092.

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