Eugene (Gene) F. Sturgeon
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PORTLAND -- Gene Sturgeon passed away on Dec. 27, 2012, at Maine Medical Center after a brief illness.
Gene was the first baby born at Goodall Hospital in Sanford on Aug. 27, 1928. He was the only child of Vinar (Red) and Pauline (Cook) Sturgeon. He attended Portland schools and graduated from Deering High in 1946. While at Deering, Gene lettered in football, baseball and basketball. He was a member of the 1946 Championship Deering Telegram League Baseball Team. Upon graduation he enlisted in the Navy, serving on the USS Philippine Sea and the USS Kearsarge. Gene accompanied Admiral Byrd on his third expedition to Antarctica, known as Operation Hi Jump. Throughout his time in the service, he continued to play both basketball and baseball.
Upon his discharge from the service, Gene returned to Portland where he played baseball in the Portland Twilight League for Roy's Diner and Aceto's Atoms. In 1948, he enrolled at the University of Maine where he excelled in the class room and on the athletic field. He was invited to pre-season football in 1949 and became a starting defensive back on Coach Dave Nelson's first UMO Team. He lettered in football in 1949, '50 and '51 and was named all Yankee Conference and All New England Small College defensive back in 1951 while also quarterbacking UMO's first undefeated football team under Coach Harold Westerman. Gene also lettered in baseball at UMaine under Coach Harold Raymond.
In 1949 he was selected by the Boston Braves to join the Portland Press Herald Baseball Team, which won the Maine Championship that year. He completed his undergraduate degree at UMaine in 1952 and received his master's degree in Education 1953. While at Orono Gene was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity.
He married the love of his life, Judy (Keegan) Sturgeon on Dec. 30, 1950. Gene and Judy started their life together in Portland where he worked for the Travelers Insurance Co. and played baseball for several teams in the Twilight League. After the birth of their first child, Gene and Judy relocated to Cleveland Ohio, where Gene played semi-pro baseball for the Boston Braves organization.
In 1955 he accepted a position with Connecticut Light and Power Company in Hartford, Conn. Gene worked for CL&P in several capacities up until the formation of Northeast Utilities. At NU, Gene was an integral part of the early genesis of the Nuclear Power Industry in the Northeast.
Starting as an area development representative he successively became the utility's manager at Niantic, public relations manager at the Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company, nuclear information manager at CL&P and assistant to the Vice President of public relations at CL&P.
Gene was eventually appointed Director of External Public Relations at NU where he was responsible initially for public information programs for the
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Funeral Home & Cremation Service
two nuclear power generating units, Millstone I & II, constructed in the period between 1979 and 1981. Eventually, he served as communications liaison for NU's lobbying activities in Washington, D.C.
He retired from NU in 1991.
Gene was a member of the Atomic Industrial Forum Committee on Public Affairs and Information and a member of the American Nuclear Society. He served as vice chairman of the Connecticut Industrial Development Counsel and the secretary of the Area Development Committee of the Electric Council of New England. He was a corporator of the Middletown Savings Bank, a director of the Middletown Industrial Development Corporation and a Director of Mid-Conn Bank.
He was also continuously active in YMCA affairs as one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Berlin-Kensington YMCA.
He served as the Chairman of many United Fund Campaigns. Throughout this period, Gene continued to nurture his love of athletics, coaching Little League Baseball and establishing a storied career as a Division One College Basketball Referee that spanned 25 years.
In his 'spare' time, he enjoyed golfing and fishing.
Gene and Judy spent their retirement years surrounded by friends, children and grandchildren at their home on Little Sebago in Windham and later, in Cumberland Foreside. An avid reader, Gene also kept busy with various other outside activities. He was a 32nd Degree Mason; a member of the Kora Shrine, Master of the Presumpscot Lodge #70 in Windham, member of the Lake Region Shrine Club and the Portland Shrine Club. He was a 2005 inductee to the Maine Sports Hall of Fame and a 2006 inductee to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame and the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. He was also past president of the IAABO Collegiate Basketball Association.
Above all things, Gene treasured his family and friends. He was a loving and devoted husband of 62 years to wife Judy; beloved father of David, Scott and Lori; doting grandfather of Kelly, Mathew, Mitchel, Jon, Allison and Jessica; and was so proud to call himself 'Great-Grampie' to Logan.
He will be dearly missed every day by his family and his wonderful and supportive friends.
A memorial celebration of Gene's life will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, at the Lindquist Funeral Home, One Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth. Please visit www.lindquistfuneralhome.com to share your condolences, memories and tributes with Gene's family.
In lieu of flowers, donations
may be made to:
The Casco Bay YMCA
14 Old South Freeport Rd.
Freeport, Maine 04032
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Jan. 6, 2013