Thomas F. Polk Smith III, 58

Thomas Smith III

CASCO — Thomas Frederick Polk Smith III, 58, survived unimaginable circumstances at birth on May 11, 1959; doctors stated he wouldn’t make it to his first birthday.

Thomas passed away peacefully on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. He is survived by his loving mother, Eileen Polk; and other family members who reside in the Rockland area. He was predeceased by his father, grandfather, and uncle, of whom he is the namesake.

Thomas spent his early childhood in Massachusetts hospitals with many medical challenges. His family relocated to Rockland and, as a youth, Thomas enjoyed fishing with his father in Vinalhaven.

As a young adult, he worked for Goodwill Industries and eventually maintained his own apartment. In later years, he survived Pineland in Gray. In his later years, he was loved and supported in shared living homes, first with Jim and Jeannie Sims for 10 years. He spent the last few years of his life with devoted primary caregiver Mary Vienessa Fernandes in Casco and DSP Phyllis Best of Poland. He enjoyed telling people he loved his “private room,” seafood, and of course, swimming in lakes and ponds in the Lake Region area.

Thomas was a participant of the Senior Enrichment and a Special Olympics champion.

Medical misfortune fell upon Thomas again due to kidney failure. He was a dialysis patient for almost three decades, which astounded many doctors. In spite of his trials and tribulations, he was the ultimate display of resiliency, fortitude and the yearning to be as independent as possible.

His infectious and photogenic smile and witty sense of humor won many hearts. You could not help but love Thomas’ being and his essence.

Thomas will be laid to rest at West Rockport Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, Dec. 8, from 2 to 4 p.m. at GMS, 15 Saunders Way in Westbrook. Wilson Funeral Home is handling cremation services. A graveside service will be held in the spring in Rockland.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Thomas’ name to Maine Special Olympics or another nonprofit agency that was special to Thomas.

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