Gordon Emerson died on February 20, 2012, after a brief illness. Born in Blue Hill on September 18, 1926, the son of Helen (Chapman) and Horton W. Emerson, Sr., he loved his childhood in the village. His grandparents lived around the corner, and he and his older brother, and their cousins and friends grew up together, getting into boyhood mischief. During those years, his lifelong love for his town was forged, as he explored every stream and every byway, and learned the story of each building. For his first schooling, he had only to go next door to the brick schoolhouse. From there he went to the new Blue Hill Consolidated school, and then graduated from George Stevens Academy in 1944. After graduation, he immediately enlisted in the Army, as a member of Army Company C, 160th Infantry, stationed in China and the Philippines during World War II. His war experiences, rarely spoken of, left him with a permanent distaste for violent solutions and conflict, an attitude that would serve him and his community well in years to come.
On May 4, 1952, he married Fausta Torrey of South Blue Hill. After working for Emerson & Slaven Heating Oils and its successor firm, he went into the real estate business. He was also a partner with his wife in the antiques business they started together in 1964, enjoying many an afternoon ramble into the countryside attending estate auctions, enjoying the thrill of the chase. He was an expert craftsman, using skills inherited from his father and grandfather, and a favorite spare-time pursuit was furniture restoration, using his eye and talent to make a fine piece whole again.
Always active in community affairs, he found his true calling when asked to run as selectman of Blue Hill in 1962. The job was a perfect outlet for his keen intellect, patience and diplomatic instincts and above all, humor. He helped guide and lead the affairs of the town he loved for the next 42 years. Over the years he also served as a member of the Blue Hill Volunteer Fire Department, as a member of the Hancock County Democratic Committee (he was proud of once being accused of being one of the three most liberal people in Blue Hill, not intended by the accuser as a compliment), and had served as a trustee of the Blue Hill Public Library, the Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, and the Jonathan Fisher Memorial, in addition to countless community based committees.
As were his ancestors, Gordon Emerson was keenly attuned to the seasons, always ready to check a stream for the first run of the season and he and his wife shared the afternoon pleasures of finding the first wild blooms of spring, the first berries of summer, and the harvest of their vegetable garden. He was an extraordinary man by any measure, and is already sorely missed by his family.
In addition to Fausta, his wife of 60 years, of Blue Hill, he is survived by a daughter, Candace Emerson of Belfast, and a son, Brad Emerson of Blue Hill, as well as by his sister-in-law Anne (Haynes) Emerson of Gorham, nieces Jane E. Gavin of Hiram, and Sarah E. Potter of Lewiston, and nephew John W. Emerson of Gorham. He was predeceased by his brother, H.W. Emerson, Jr.
A private family service is planned. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Hill Public Library.