Life Story for Walter Leroy Sukeforth
Walter L. Sukeforth
CAMDEN…………Walter Sukeforth, 96 years young and a World War II Veteran, peacefully passed away on April 18, 2017 in Camden after a brief illness.
Walter was born on December 11, 1920, the son of Jennie (Overlock) and Henry Sukeforth. His formative years were spent in the south end of Rockland his mother and step-father, Alfred Staples. He delighted in telling stories about gathering coal that had fallen off the trains. As a boy during the winter months, he worked on the back of a truck, spreading sand on the snow packed Main Street in Rockland. He always enjoyed working with his Mom, delivering the wash she would take in or delivering baked goods in the neighborhood. He enjoyed earning that elusive dime to go to the Strand Theater and watch cowboy movies all day on a Saturday, especially if it was his favorite, Tom Mix movies. Walter would carry the gym bag of his brother, Roland, to his many boxing matches.
As the years passed, Walter’s stories grew culminating with so many of the tales while working for Rackliff & Witham cruising Penobscot Bay, buying lobsters aboard the lobster smack, BaJuPa. He lit up when recalling the times of working and living on the bay most of his life. Walter could remember these coastal runs where they bought lobsters, stored them in wooden barrels, iced them down, for the return trip to Rockland.
Walter attended schools in Rockland and was a member of the Class of 1938 at Rockland High School. In 1941, he married Mary Barbara Murray residing in the local area when Walter and his brother, Glen, went to work for Bath Iron Works.
He was drawn back to the sea and enlisted in U.S. Coast Guard serving from Portland to Boston during WWII. Walter served on the Tackle and White Lupine affectionately referred to as “The Pine”. When lobstering later in life, he always enjoyed seeing the USCG ships ply the waters of Penobscot Bay.
Walter and Barbara eventually settled in Waldoboro where he owned and operated a poultry farm raising laying hens, drove a school bus, and later went to work at the Maine State Prison in Thomaston as a wall guard. He retired as manager of the refinishing shop.
Their farm was sold and they moved to the St. George Road in South Thomaston. Walter’s worked didn’t end when returning home from work as he planted two acres of vegetables and strawberries that were very popular when sold from their own farm stand.
He joined the Lion’s Club and served as King Lion during the time when the lobster shack was built at The Keag, where the club members sold lobsters during the summer months.
In 1966, before retiring from the prison, they moved to Wilson Avenue in Camden. Being drawn to the sea again, Walter purchased a lobster boat and fished out of Camden harbor. Fishing full time in retirement, he enjoyed being out near his trusted friends, Phil Raynes, Rusty Robinson, Glenn Erskine, and Arthur Andrews. Walter’s boats included Spouter, Spouter I, II, and III until he was 80 and decided fishing was for younger men selling his boat and gear that that he wouldn’t be tempted to return to the sea.
Walter travelled to Florida, England and Italy to visit his son while he was in the military and was fortunate to tour the John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier there. In his later years, he looked forward to Sunday trips to many fishing villages along the coast.
Walter recently resided at the Camden Hills Villa in Camden where he made many special friends with the residents and staff. The family extends their thanks to the entire staff especially, David, Jim, Sue, Mabel, Annette and Emily, for making him welcome.
Walter was predeceased by his loving wife Barbara in 1992 and very special companion, Florence Good in 2006.
He is survived by sons, John Sukeforth and wife, Elizabeth, of Naples FL, Jeff Sukeforth and wife, Connie, of Camden; grandchildren, Matthew, Tyler, Jessica and Cortney; great- grandchildren, Steven, Cailyn, Joshua, Fallyn, Nora Grace and Owen; as well as many beloved nieces, nephews and friends.
Calling hours will be 4-6PM, Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at the Long Funeral Home, 9 Mountain Street, Camden. A summer memorial service will be announced.
Memorial contributions may be made to American Legion Post #30, P.O. Box 187, Camden, Maine 04843.
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.longfuneralhomecamden.com.