Nelson Woodbury “Bull Moose” Webber, of Bremen, passed away quietly on Dec. 18, at the age of 94, and, according to his wishes, in the same home in which he had been born, to Fernando and Alice (Grotton) Webber.
In his early years, Nelson entertained at dance halls as the accordion player in a local band. Nelson, a decorated WWIl veteran and avid storyteller, spoke of delighting the natives – and boosting the morale of his fellow servicemen by making hand-churned vanilla ice cream overseas. A graduate of Lincoln Academy and Wentworth Institute, Nelson worked as a carpenter and roofer in Maine and Florida after returning from the Navy. He built sturdy lobster boats, first as an apprentice of Leslie Collamore, then on his own. Many of his boat buyers returned over the years to reminisce with him about their adventures with his seaworthy vessels. A celebrity of sorts, Yankee Magazine published an article about him and his handcrafted lobster boats in 1969. A national commercial was even made which featured one of his handcrafted wooden dinghies.
Nelson loved his community and assisted any way he could. He served several years as a selectman of the town of Bremen, and then spent several more serving on its cemetery committee. He was a founding member of the Bremen Historical Society and served many years as its treasurer. He was a well-known local historian and genealogist who freely shared his knowledge as a guest speaker at historical society meetings in Bremen and its surrounding towns. He often helped Bremen Fire and Rescue personnel to save people and structures by ferrying them to boat and island disasters. He even helped the Lincoln County Sheriff Office track down an escaped fugitive who had fled by boat. The Marine Patrol and other state and federal agencies could always depend on water access through his multi-generational marina facility. Nelson worked at Bath Iron Works at the beginning and end of his working life, and also found time to lobster and repair his own wooden traps as his father and grandfather had done before him.
Nelson loved nature and enjoyed long walks along trails and in the woods, often cleaning up bottles and cans as he went. If you were lucky enough to be invited to join him, he would explain the different trees, wildlife, and birds, and how to maneuver in the woods without getting lost.
His son, William, sadly predeceased him, but he is survived by his daughters, Nancy, Kathy, and Mary; several grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.
No services are planned, as Nelson would rather be celebrated in memory and heart. Those who wish to honor Nelson’s spirit of community and generosity are encouraged to make a contribution in his name to the Bremen Volunteer Fire Department, whose first responders helped us keep him safely at home during his final years: Bremen Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 165, Bremen, ME 04551.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting stronghancock.com.