George A. Jones, of Wiscasset, beloved father and grandfather, passed away on Jan. 14 after a long and joyful life. George was born on Jan. 29, 1924 in Boston, Mass. and lived in Wiscasset, a town he loved, for most of his life.
After a childhood spent in Portsmouth, N.H., Quincy, Mass., and Damariscotta, George graduated from Lincoln Academy in 1941. In 1943 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and began active duty as a radio gunner on B-25 medium bombers in the Pacific. A Staff Sergeant in the 42nd Bomb group of the 13th Air Force he flew 55 missions. He was a 71-year member of the American Legion Bradford-Sortwell-Wright Post #54 in Wiscasset, volunteered countless hours helping organize Army Air Corps reunions, and was proud to attend the opening of the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 2004.
After the war George returned to Maine where he met his future wife of 66 years, Marilyn Elinor Petrie at a dance in Wiscasset. They were married in 1946 and settled in Wiscasset, her family’s home for many generations. George founded a business, Yankee Wholesale Company, which operated from 1946 – 1980. He took pride in building a successful business that employed many local people and served small business customers throughout Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Kennebec, and Knox counties. He knew every customer on every route and loved the relationships he built with employees, small business owners throughout midcoast Maine, and with industry colleagues across the country; he served on the board of directors for the National Candy Wholesalers Association from 1968-1978. He also opened and operated the Wiscasset Newsstand in the 1960s.
While running his businesses George also made time to take classes and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern Maine in 1974, determined to finish college before his two youngest children. After selling Yankee Wholesale to Pine State Trading Company in 1980 he worked for them until he retired in 1989, still staying active as a part-time consultant with them until 2005.
George was active in town affairs and served on the Wiscasset School Board in the 1960s. He joined the Masons in 1955, and was a Past Master of Lincoln Lodge No. 0003 as well as a member of the Dunlap Commandery No. 5 Knights Templar. He was also a past worthy patron of Eastern Star, Garrison Hill Chapter OES in Wiscasset, and had belonged to the Wiscasset Fire Society since 1977.
In his later years George took great joy in researching his family’s genealogy and connecting with extended family, and was proud to be a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants. He was also an avid golfer, a lifelong passion he discovered working as a caddy at Wawenock Golf Course during high school.
When retirement allowed him more time, including many retirement winters in Jupiter, Fla., he loved nothing more than being on the golf course as often as he could, well into his 80s.
George took his greatest pride and pleasure in his family. So he could help care for his wife Marilyn, they moved together to St. Andrews Village in Boothbay Harbor in 2008, where they spent five years before her passing. He then returned to his home in Wiscasset where he remained through the end of his life.
His children remember him as a caring, hard-working man of strong character and a committed parent who always made time for them. His grandchildren will also remember him as a cheerful and encouraging man who loved jokes, puzzles, sports, lobster, and playing cribbage, and who loved spending time with them and being part of their lives.
George was predeceased by his wife, Marilyn.
He is survived by sons, Donald Jones of Wiscasset, and Dale Jones and daughter-in-law Dr. Mary Ann Cooper of River Forest, Ill.; daughter, Dawn Jones and son-in-law Craig Currie of Cushing; grandchildren, Jeremy Jones, Carly Jones, Ethan Currie, and Emily Currie; sisters-in-law, Helen Shorey, Lilian Petrie, Barbara Sanborn, and Lilly Campbell; many nieces and nephews and their families; and other extended family.
Relatives and friends are invited to a visitation time from 2-3 p.m., Mon., Jan. 22 at Hall Funeral Home, 949 Main St., Waldoboro, with a Masonic service, followed by a remembrance service at 3 p.m., with Rev. Robert Dorr officiating. Burial will be in the spring at Greenlawn Cemetery with military honors.
Condolences for the family may be shared at www.hallfuneralhomes.com.
Arrangements are entrusted to Hall’s of Boothbay, 975 Wiscasset Rd., Boothbay.