Jan. 23, 1931 – Nov. 29, 2015
Longtime resident of Southport, Richard George “Dick” Dexter, 84, died at his residence on Dogfish Head on Nov. 29. He was born in Boston on Jan. 23, 1931 to Anne N. and Willis P. Dexter.
Mr. Dexter made many friends and acquaintances throughout his years in Southport where he became known for his diligence as a roofing contractor even into his 80s and through his membership in several Boothbay region organizations. His piercing blue eyes and frank ways of expressing himself with his thick Boston accent will be long remembered and missed.
In the early 1980s, he settled permanently on Dogfish Head in the cottage built by his father during the 1950s. The land had been purchased by his great‐grandfather in 1889. As a fulltime resident of Southport, Mr. Dexter had to have some kind of employment and discovered roofing as a need lacking in the area. So he began working under someone else at first to learn the trade and soon became much in demand to residents as a self‐employed contractor.
While in the Boston area where he grew up, he worked for New England Telephone and was sought after as an automotive machinist for many years before moving to Southport. Mr. Dexter was a disabled Vietnam veteran of the U.S. Army in which he served for over 20 years. During his stint in the Army, he became a member of the Army’s Aggressor Force Diving Team about which he had many tales to tell.
Always learning and yearning for knowledge, Mr. Dexter could converse on any number of topics, his favorites being sailing, food, and Model T Fords. People have said of him he was never lacking in words. In later years, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University in 1986. It meant commuting back and forth to Boston during many weeks before graduating.
Prior to his studies at Northeastern University, Mr. Dexter attended Franklin Institute, Lincoln Technical Institute, and Central Texas College.
Most recently he had the joy of driving antique autos at the Boothbay Railway Museum, including the antique Fords he so loved. Despite failing health in recent months, he continued to enjoy life with all his many friends in the area and attending various events in the area.
Although he never married or had any children, he helped many young people with their college expenses unbeknownst to most people. As a Sunday school teacher at his home church, Southport United Methodist Church, he followed up on many of his former students, keeping in touch with letters, cards, and personal gifts.
He considered his church as his family and the community as an extended family, which he took seriously and endeavored to become involved in many of their lives. His impact will continue long after his death.
His membership in many organizations amounted to much more than simply being on a membership roll. During his longtime membership in his Southport church, he served as treasurer for several years, financial secretary from 1986‐2012, finance committee, nominating committee, and administrative council.
Mr. Dexter was an active member of the United States Power Squadron, Grade JN, in which he completed and taught many courses on boating. His love of boating, especially sailing, gave him and his friends much enjoyment. During the 1970s, he crewed on an ocean racer out of Marblehead, Mass. to such destinations as Newport, R.I., Bermuda, Halifax, Nova Scotia and in Maine, Monhegan Island and Portland. He sailed his boat out of Southport for many years as well.
Over the course of his life in the Boothbay region, he became a Master Mason and Junior Deacon of Seaside Lodge #144, served as director of the Southport Historical Society for four years and was a life member of the Boothbay Harbor Historical Society. Most recently he met for lunches on Fridays for a men’s Christian fellowship in Boothbay Harbor led by Pastor Al Roberts of the Boothbay Region Community Fellowship.
Mr. Dexter was predeceased by his parents; sister, Marjorie Blackburn; and brother‐in‐law, Leslie Johnston.
Survivors include his sister, Dorothy Johnston, niece, Diane Carroll and husband Charles, all of Rowley, Mass.; nephew, David Johnston and wife Kay Cummings, of Pelham, N.H.; nieces, Margie Hughes and Sandi Sponaugle, both of Wytheville, Va.; grand nieces; grand nephew; four great-grand nieces; and great-grand nephew.
Visiting hours will be held from 5-7 p.m., Fri., Dec. 4 at Hall Funeral Home in Boothbay during which a Masonic service will be conducted by the Seaside Lodge. A celebration of his life will be held at 10 a.m., Sat., Dec. 5 at the Southport United Methodist Church followed by interment with military honors at Union Cemetery in Southport and a reception at the church.
In lieu of flowers, friends may contribute to the Southport United Methodist Church fund for camperships for youth of the community.
To extend online condolences, light a candle for Dick, or to share a story or pictures, visit his Book of Memories at www.hallfuneralhomes.com
Hall’s of Boothbay has care of the arrangements.