John D. Thoits, 76
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GRAY-- John D. Thoits of Gray passed away peacefully on Nov. 14, 2012 at Togus VA Hospice facility after a courageous battle with cancer with his children by his side.
John was born in Freeport on July 24, 1936 to George & Miriam Thoits. He grew up in Yarmouth & Falmouth. He attended Falmouth schools, graduating from Falmouth High School in 1955. John was an outstanding baseball pitcher at Falmouth High School, winning a state championship. After high school, he passed up a baseball scholarship to Boston College to enlist in the army. He spent his time in the army at a communications post in Alaska (playing baseball on the west coast) obtaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was always very proud of his military service. After discharge from the army, John was immediately approached to play for the Yarmouth Townies in the semi-pro baseball Portland Twilight League. He had an illustrious career, at one point winning six straight championships. After seven years due to his ever-growing family, he gave up baseball because of long hard hours working to support his family. He made a brief baseball come back in his mid 30's with the Falmouth Townies, performing at his usual high level. John was a truck driver for 20 years, hauling telephone poles all over the state. Having received a commercial drivers license before he was 17. In 2000, he retired from Burnham & Morrill Company in the local bread makers union, after 20 years of employment. In 2001, he was honored for legendary baseball achievements when he was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall Of Fame. John loved the outdoors, softball games and horseshoe games with his children.
He was an avid gardener, spending many hours in the garden, growing first-rate vegetables. Having grown up on the ocean, he always found himself drawn back, whether vacationing with his children, digging clams, or pulling a few lobster traps in his old boat. John was a true New England sports fan, being crazy about the Red Sox, the Celtics and the Patriots. He received great joy in 2004 & 2008, watching his frustrating Boston Red Sox finally win a championship. John has many friends, seeming to know somebody (or have somebody know him) wherever he went. John had a passion for life and his family that was unsurpassed. He will be missed dearly by his children, Anne Libby of Bangor, David & Debi Thoits of Auburn, Pam Moreau & Marc Labonte of Westbrook, Shawn Thoits & Kari Steeves of Windham, Paul & Melissa Thoits of Portland, Ryan & Beth Thoits of Windham and Norm Moreau of Gray; brothers & sisters, Maurice (Pat) Thoits of Yarmouth, Anna & John Golding of Pownal, Carl & Carol Thoits of Buxton, Russell & Ann Thoits of Raymond, Donna & Bob Reynolds of Yarmouth, Harvey Thoits of Raymond. He was predeceased by his brother Linwood Thoits. He is also survived by 16 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. His family would like to give a special thank you to the caring staff at the Gosnell Hospice and the Togus VA Hospice.
A graveside service with Military Honors will held 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20 in Riverside Cemetery, Yarmouth. Arrangements entrusted to Wilson Funeral Home.
John D. Thoits
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Nov. 18, 2012