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John R. Weatherbee


1923 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
John R. Weatherbee Obituary

John R. Weatherbee, 93
SACO - John R. Weatherbee, 93, of Portland, died on Saturday, April 9, 2016, at Seal Rock Health Care Center.
On March 24, 1923, as a spring snowstorm raged in Springfield, Jennie Rogerson Weatherbee's doctor was unable to make it through the snow, so Dr. George Bradford Weatherbee delivered his son, John.
John grew up in Hampden and graduated from Hampden Academy in 1941. During his first year at the University of Maine, he joined the United Sates Army Air Corps.
In his wool uniform, he was shipped to the Pacific theatre and served three years until the end of WWII. Selected by his sergeant, a fellow New England man, he had a coveted duty in transportation, learning to drive all Army vehicles and impressing the officers with his diligence and humor.
John returned to the University of Maine to complete his bachelor of science degree. While a student at the University, his older brother George arranged a blind date with Phylis Fraser. They were married in 1949.
They started their married life in Exeter, N.H., where he was employed as a geneticist for Nichols Poultry developing new breeds of chickens.
In 1963, they moved back to Hampden and John worked at Hanson's Ski and Saddle Shop. In the off season he taught the guys in the backroom how to tie flies. The ski binding benches sported fly tying vises with intricate tiny flies. In his semi-retirement, he pursued his passion for antiques, establishing himself as an authority in glass and paper.
John believed that you could learn anything by reading, and proved the point by building a kayak with his son George, based solely on a blueprint found in a magazine. When kayaking became too routine, they outfitted it with a sail.
John was an excellent gardener, furniture refinisher, painter, and maple syrup producer. He was a man of many interests and talents. John and Phylis enjoyed traveling, and teaching their family downhill and cross-country skiing, and sharing all these adventures with many beloved terriers.
In their retirement they traveled to Florida and Arizona and later purchased a home in Portland. Their neighbors on Dorset Street became great friends. They shared potluck dinners, perennials, fruitcakes and homemade relish.
John was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Phylis F. Weatherbee; sisters, Hope and Caroline Weatherbee; and brother, George B. Weatherbee.
He is survived by his daughter, Anne Lindsay Weatherbee and her husband Brian Burtchell of Jay, and their children Hannah, Tyler and Lindsay, and John's great grandson, Maddox; daughter, Deborah Weatherbee Shulman and her husband Fredric of New York, and their daughters Lillie and Jennie; and son, George Weatherbee of Portland and his son Zephyr, his wife Heather and daughter, Hannah.
A celebration of his life will be held on April 16, 2016, at RiRa restaurant from 2-4 p.m. Arrangements are under the direction of
Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home
, 172 State St., Portland, proudly serving the veterans of Greater Portland. To view John's memorial page, or to share an online condolence, please visit: www.ctcrawford.com

Memorial contributions
may be made in John's name to
Portland Public Library
5 Monument Square
Portland, ME 04101


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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Apr. 12, 2016
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