Leon E. “Lee” Gerrish, age 77 

On 12/18/18, Scarborough, Maine, Lee’s spirit went peacefully from his wife’s loving arms into the arms of his Heavenly Father. They had been married nearly 53 years, always overcoming challenges with a new and deepening level of love.

Lee was born on November 16, 1941, in Portland, Maine, to Reginald and Henrietta Gerrish; he was the fifth of seven children. Raised in Gorham initially, the family moved to Buxton, where Lee worked the hay farm in summer and rode with his dad on the town snowplow in winter. 

Early schooling was in Buxton, then he moved to Gorham to finish high school. He loved baseball and was on several teams. He attended Samuel B. Hanson High School Buxton, Maine, from 1955-1957, then Gorham High School, Gorham, Maine 1958-1959. After graduation, he left for the United States Air Force from 1959-1963. He excelled in his Basic Medical Course at Lackland AFB Texas and moved on to Apprentice Medical Service Specialist Course at Gunter AFB Alabama (equivalent to Civilian Practical Nurse). He was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska and Luke AFB, Arizona before his honorable Discharge from the military in June 1963.
Lee’s employment history reflected his deeply-held desire to help people. He put his medical training to good use in both the Emergency Room and the Operating Room at Osteopathic Hospital of Maine in the 1960’s. His meticulous work in the O.R. caught the attention of Dr. Harold Kent, D.O., and around 1972 Lee joined Dr. Kent in his private EENT Practice in Portland, Maine, as a Physician’s Assistant. In 1982, he changed fields to Addiction Medicine, working as a Physician’s Assistant and Registered Substance Abuse Counselor with Carolina Haverty, M.D. at Westbrook Community Hospital.

Wanting to try something a little different, in 1986 he purchased and managed the Sebago Scales Company, based in Windham. While managing the business, he also pursued a bachelor’s degree in Vocational Education, and in 1987 he graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Maine. Later, he worked as a manager of the C.N. Brown Company.

In 1992, he suffered a series of strokes which left him physically disabled, though his illness did not dampen his spirit for learning and applying his new-found knowledge. At the time, his doctors gave him five years to live; Lee beat the odds four times over. During his recovery he rekindled a passion for Philosophy and loved the writings of Thoreau, which he often quoted. He enjoyed expressing his views to others and liked to make people think. His grandchildren will have lasting memories of their talks with Grampy.

Lee was a very independent man who maintained that his time on earth was meant to serve and love. He often expressed that he wanted to live until he died. He believed that his purpose on earth was to love and give hope- to help change the world for the better. He generously offered his time and talents in helping anyway he could, loving his family and friends, and sharing his expertise.

He learned to walk without his canes. Lee liked to start his mornings appreciating the beauty of nature with dark skies and stars in the west then turning to the east to bask in a sunrise. He wrote of his connection with nature, evidenced in his deep faith. He listened for God’s voice to direct him on a daily basis. His greatest source of happiness was connecting with others. He was a lifelong learner and pursued his dreams and encouraged others to do so. When he saw something he liked, he learned how to do it. He loved woodworking and was certified in small engine repair, restoring furniture, and tinkering with anything broken to get it to work again. 

He loved being the “Lawn Ranger” on his riding mowers, keeping the grounds so perfectly manicured. He took great pride in his gardens and particularly his famous Grampy’s Garden raspberries. He spent hours from spring to fall picking and pruning just right and many benefitted from his meticulous green thumbs.
His love of the outdoors went far beyond his own backyard. An avid hunter and fisherman he enjoyed many camping trips over the years at the East Branch of the Penobscot with his brothers, dear friends, his son, and grandsons. 

Fueled by his passion for hunting, he was also a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. Lee was extremely proud of his Golden Eagle status as a member of the National Rifle Association, and was quite vocal in his beliefs, particularly the oath he took to defend the Constitution during his service in the Military.

Lee received a lot of recognition from his various endeavors. Early in his medical career, he obtained an LPN license. He organized the Maine Association of Operating Room Technicians serving as its first President. He was a Charter Member of the Gorham Rescue Squad. He was honored by the Lions Club Vision program. He actively participated in both the Southern Maine Regional Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council and the Maine Alcohol and Drug Prevention Conference. He claimed to be the only non-lawyer listed in the Maine Bar Association Directory, serving as a resource for impaired professionals. He received successive Outstanding Leadership Awards from the NRA and was a Frontline Defender for the NAGR. He was an expert marksman in both firearms and bows. He loved promoting gun safety and skill for target practice with his family.

Lee was predeceased by his parents, Reginald and Henrietta Gerrish; two brothers, Harold and Robert Gerrish; and two sisters, Rita Black and Ellen Richardson.

Lee is survived by his loving wife, Charlene; his brother, Linwood Gerrish and wife Judy of Bar Mills, Maine; his brother, Donald and wife Charlotte of Apache Junction, Arizona; his son, James Provencher and wife Jill, of Meddybemps, Maine; his daughter, Kimberly Hubbard and husband William of Altus, Oklahoma; “The Gerrish Girls”: Amy Levy and husband Matthew of Fairfax, Virginia; Leanne King and husband Kerrith of LaVernia, Texas; Caree Kavanaugh and husband Brent of Scarborough, Maine; Melissa Gerrish and “adopted” daughter Missy Lane of Saco, Maine; thirteen grandchildren (James, Marie, Nick, Hillary Tyler, Heather, Jennifer, David, John, Alex, Jared, Victoria, and Connor); eight great grandchildren, with one more on the way; and countless nieces and nephews. He also is survived by his best friend, Guy Linscott of South Portland, Maine.

Lee did not want any funeral or services, but a Celebration of Life will be held in the Spring.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.