AUBURN — William F. McPhee Jr., 86, passed away peacefully in his sleep Wednesday, May 5, at Clover Manor Health Care in Auburn.
He was born in Bangor to William “Frank” Sr. and Agnes (Lancaster) McPhee. He was educated in the Bangor Catholic schools, graduating from John Bapst High School, where he was a member of the Class B Eastern Maine championship basketball team. He was also a fine boxer who contended successfully in many amateur fights from high school through his military service.
He attended the Maine Maritime Academy as a member of the first full graduation class in 1942. Following commencement, he joined the Merchant Marines until 1944, when he took his commission as an ensign aboard the USS Daulphin, operating in the Pacific Theater. He felt honored that his ship was in Tokyo Harbor when the surrender documents were signed on the deck of the USS Missouri, ending the war. He was honorably discharged with the rank of lieutenant JG.
At the end of the war, he met his future wife while playing in a co-ed baseball game. On Aug. 21, 1948, he married Therese C. Green in Marblehead, Mass.
He went to the University of Maine, graduating in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He accepted a job as a salesman for Moore Business Forms Inc., working in eastern Maine. In 1957, Bill and Terry moved from Bangor to Auburn, where they raised their four children.
Prior to his retirement, he was the president of Rollins Office Supply Inc. in Lewiston. He was a member of Kiwanis and loved cooking at the annual Kiwanis pancake breakfast, being one of the cooks at the first breakfast. He was also a member of the Elks and the American Legion.
An avid sports fan, he had an enviable knowledge of sports and loved reading, watching, listening or talking sports. He was a good golfer and a member of Martindale Country Club for many years, where he taught his wife and sons to play. He was also a member of the Poland Spring Country Club and played at Fairlawn Country Club during his later years. He was a founding member of the Central Maine Forecasting Association, with a trophy being named for him this past year to honor him as its oldest member. He was always proud of his “out on the limb” standing.
Blessed with an incredible memory and wit, he was always ready to talk with people, share his experiences, a story, or a cute joke. He was known as a really nice man who touched everyone who met him in a special way and who could bring a smile to your heart.
Survivors include his wife of 61 years; two sons, William F. McPhee, III of Auburn and James P. McPhee and his wife, Charlene, of Auburn; a daughter, Lynne McPhee-DiBiase and her husband, John, of Poland; six grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.
He was predeceased by a daughter, Peggy, and three brothers, Paul, Donald “Chubby” and Roland.