Thomas D. Shaffner

Thomas Shaffner

Thomas Shaffner

FRYEBURG — Thomas D. Shaffner, of Fryeburg, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, surrounded by his family and friends after a courageous battle with cancer.

Born in Freeland, Mich., on the family farm, Tom graduated from Midland High School in Midland, Mich., where he was elected class president. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1958. He served in the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1964. Following college, Tom married his high school sweetheart, Ann Dressel, of Midland, Mich., and they moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where Tom attended Georgetown University Law School, graduating in 1963. They later moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Tom was a patent attorney with Fay Sharp.

In 1975, Tom joined one of his patent clients, Howard Dearborn, in Fryeburg, to help manage and grow Dearborn Tubular Products. Over the next three decades, Dearborn went on to become one of the area's largest employers and was acquired by the international energy services firm Hunting PLC in 2011. Involved in the local community, Tom served on the Fryeburg Academy Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2011, acting as treasurer.

In addition to his business acumen and quick sense of humor, Tom will be fondly remembered for his generosity to his friends, family and community. He was particularly proud of his work in helping build the Plymouth House, a recovery retreat dedicated to teaching the Twelve Step Program in Plymouth, N.H. Tom was very active in the recovery community and also established three halfway houses in Portland, Maine.

Always ready with a smile, a laugh and a helping hand, Tom enjoyed flying, boating, skiing, golf, and engaging in many side projects in Fryeburg, but he always kept his farming roots and enjoyed working with his hands and cutting his own grass.

Tom is survived by his two children, Michael Shaffner (Justine) of Littleton, Colo.; Joe Shaffner (Anna) of Silver Spring, Md.; and two grandsons, Grayton and Marcus; a large extended family in Midland, Mich.; and by his longtime companion, Jo Ellen Gibbons. He was predeceased by his parents, Ralph and Iva Shaffner.

A memorial service for Tom will be held at Fryeburg Academy Performing Arts Center at 1 p.m., Saturday, December 17th. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Tom’s memory to Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine. Arrangements are under the care of Wood Funeral Home, 9 Warren St., Fryeburg. Online condolences may be shared with his family at

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