One of Maine’s longest-serving newspaper publishers died at home in Bridgton on Sunday, leaving behind a legacy of community involvement and journalism he inherited from his father and grandfather and passed on to his children.
Henry A. Shorey III died of bone cancer at the age of 87. He was active in his church and the town until his death. He sang in the choir at the First Congregational Church, one of his favorite things to do, right up until he died, church secretary Pat Wolfe said Wednesday.
“He was very active in the church,” said Wolfe, who was befriended by Shorey when he joined the church in 1997. “He served in just about every position here except president of the Ladies Guild.”
Wolfe said he loved Shorey’s intelligence and wit.
“He had a very sharp mind,” Wolfe said. “He could just get to the core of a situation and come up with an amusing way to deal with it.”
Shorey was among a handful of publishers in Maine whose newspaper is still family-owned. His great-grandfather started the Bridgton News in 1870 and Shorey’s son, Stephen, who is general manager, represents the fourth-generation to run the award-winning weekly that serves the Lakes Region of Maine.
Dr. Mary Elizabeth Shorey remembered her father’s love for his family and his town as the two most powerful forces in his life. He was concerned about what kind of world one generation would leave for the next, she said, a theme that goes back to an address he wrote in 1966 for Memorial Day.
Shorey said her father’s philosophy on journalism was simple: “Getting the story right and respecting those he wrote about.”
“The newspaper was really like a member of the family because it had been in our family so long,” Shorey said.
Henry Shorey was born in Augusta on Dec. 1, 1918, but returned to the family’s native home of Bridgton at age 5. His father served as deputy secretary of state and later as the first chief of what is now known as the Maine State Police.
Shorey attended Bridgton High School, Hebron Academy and Bowdoin College in Brunswick. After he graduated in 1941, he enlisted in the Army and fought oversees during World War II.
He was awarded a Purple Heart and the Air Medal during his service. He graduated from Officer’s Training School and was discharged as a first lieutenant in September 1945.
He married Eula Enochs in May 1945 and studied and worked in Boston until his father died in 1952 and he returned home to take his place in the newsroom.
Shorey was appointed Bridgton postmaster, a job he kept for 22 years, while his wife ran the paper as its managing editor.
In 1999, Henry and Eula were inducted into the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame for their long records of “journalist integrity” and dedication to the paper and the region it served.
Over the past 20 years, the Shoreys spent the winter in Florida where Henry volunteered to teach English to farm workers. His funeral will be held Saturday.
“He was one of us,” Sam Roberts, publisher emeritus of the Lincoln County News in Damariscotta, said Wednesday of his friend. “He was a third-generation publisher; one of the few that were left.
“He led a good full life. It’s a loss,” said Roberts, who has handed down his paper to his son.
“Fortunately, his paper is going to stay” in the family, Roberts said.