Portland, ME - On March 30, 2018, we lost a good man. John Corsa – having fought the good fight, primarily against Lymphoma – died at Saint Joseph’s, Portland, where he’d received kind attention and highly compassionate care. Carol was with him.
Born to Army General Lawrence Corsa and Sophia Marie Corsa in New York City, 1928, John was one of 6 siblings – two of whom survive him: brother Lawrence Corsa of Colorado, and “still sharp-as-a tack in her 90’s”, sister Charlotte Danielewski, New York.
John was an unusually intelligent, capable and kind man who led a full, interesting life. Volunteering, he served honorably in the U.S. Coast Guard, South Pacific Region, W.W. II. He credited New York University for an education that served him well.
John was with N.B.C. Television, Rockefeller Center, New York City, where for years, part of his job involved greeting and helping to comfortably “settle in” near-famous and really famous celebrities (like Elizabeth Taylor) while they waited to appear (live) on The Milton Berle Show. (Mr. Berle being “Mr. Television” himself in those heady days.)
John went on to become President of A.T.C.O. – an American manufacturing company which produced metal and steel fabrications, the United States Government being a customer. His position involved frequent travel, and John eventually spent a whole year in Europe working with the Military, probably regarding plane-part specifications. He developed a love for flying and subsequently got his own pilot’s license. He also managed to spend some time, quite happily, on his sailboat moored at San Francisco Bay. He was always a great host, and many, many, found their way aboard (for John was lots of fun as well).
In early middle age, John got interested in Chamber-of-Commerce work and was appointed Executive Director of the Kennebec Valley Chamber based in Augusta, Maine, where he had a good run. Probably the most significant accomplishment for John, his staff and the entire K.V.C.C. Membership was their conception and production of The Great Kennebec River Whatever Race celebrating the 4th of July and the river itself.
From its start, more and more outrageously out-fitted “crews” in equally outrageous (many laugh-out-loud-funny) rafts paddled down the Kennebec, delighting the ever growing crowds of celebrants on shore. The whole thing grew like Topsy to a packed, 3-to-4 day annual valley event.
An amused United States Senator – the Honorable George J. Mitchell – hopped on a boat one year, going right down the river with the rafters to Gardiner Landing. For one or two years, a “Battleship” raft especially stood out, it’s loud cannon shooting “whatevers” for 25 feet or so at fellow rafters! CVS Television News came up one late afternoon, filming the big, always good natured, but somewhat raucous show on the river (and the food, games and ferris-wheel happenings on shore).
Most important of all, to John, however, was that 4th afternoon when Stanley Hawes, an Augusta-area custodian with 6 children, shook his hand and said, “John, this has become the people’s race. Now everybody has a really great place to be for the the 4th, and you don’t have to go far or spend much of anything. This is going to go on for years (It did.) and my kids and I will always remember it.” (As so would we all).
Along with Carol, John spent his later years in Portland, Maine, where he handled scale-house operations for Merrill’s Marine Terminal and continued to do so when the Sprague organization took over. In a recent letter from Sprague to Carol, Lauren Bassill, manager of human resources for Sprague, added her own personal note: “He (John) was a dear man.”
And indeed John was dear– to all of us (family and well beyond) for whom he provided his on-going kindness, generosity, and support, especially for anyone going through a tough time.
John himself wanted to remember here with love: son Mark A. Corsa; life partner of 35 years Carol J. Wanbaugh; stepsons Jeff and Mark Gosline and stepdaughter Lee Gosline Demers (sadly, deceased); predeceased brother Preston Corsa, and also predeceased, sisters Virginia and Catherine; the families, nieces and nephews (especially Eric) of all his siblings; and stepdaughter Susan Jean Wanbaugh (sadly deceased.)
John also wanted to mention and thank that dear, wonderful couple who made our old-age so much happier and brighter: Steve and Bunny Rice of Portland, Maine, and our pal, Virgil “I-can-help-you-with-that” Plaisted of Gorham, Maine.
John’s ashes, along with Susan’s (and eventually, Carol’s) will be buried together at sea – back to the ocean loved by all three.
Folks wishing to make a donation in John’s memory do please contact the A.S.P.C.A. (1-800-628-0028) for he was fond of God’s critters!
Auburn- Pauline (Lepage) Tanguay, 70, of Lewiston, Maine, passed away on Monday, May 7, 2018 at The Androscoggin Hospice House in Auburn, Maine.
She was born on September 3, 1947 in Lewiston, Maine a daughter of the late Gerard and Theresa (Gagnon) Lepage. She attended local schools and lived most of her life in the Lewiston-Auburn area.
In 1998, she married Raymond Tanguay in Livermore Falls, ME. They moved back to Lewiston where she worked in various healthcare centers including Marshwood Health Center and Central Maine Medical Center.
She was a member of Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston. She loved her time at home where she enjoyed working on puzzles, knitting and spending time on the computer.
Pauline is survived by her husband of 20 years, Raymond Tanguay of Lewiston and by her two sons Rodney Clark and Brian Clark as well as several brothers and sisters.
Kittery, ME - Heitha (Thorkelsdottir) Swalm, 96, died on Thursday, May 3, 2018, in Scarborough. She spent most of her life in the US in Kittery. Born in Iceland, she was the first Icelandic woman to marry an American service man in World War II.
She and Chester Swalm married in 1942. The wedding was carried by the AP and appeared in almost all local newspapers in the US. She was predeceased by her husband of 71 years, daughter Linda Swalm, sisters Asta Thorkelsdottir and Margret Murray, and brother Ragnar Thorkelsson.
She is survived by her son Chet and his wife Gail Swalm, daughter Barbara Swalm and son-in-law William Magee. Heitha adored her three grandchildren, Dain Perkins, Jennifer Bushta, and Kathelene Canosa and nine great grandchildren, all of whom survive her.
She would light up whenever Jennifer and Kathelene were around. She was a beloved Aunt to her American and Icelandic nieces and nephews. The Icelandic heritage was an important part of her identity and she and her relatives visited each other often. Her legacy is the strong sense of family and the ties between the generations in both countries.
LEWISTON - JoAnn F (Shaw) Whitney, 83, of Lewiston, passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at Central Maine Medical Center surrounded by her loving family.
She was born on July 16, 1934 in South Portland to the late Alice R. (Wendel) Shaw and Robert E. Shaw Sr. JoAnn married Alton E Whitney on January 7, 1956 the love of her life and together they raised one son and four daughters.
She was a stay at home mom, then later was a loving day care provider for many of her grandchildren and the neighbor children.
During her lifetime she enjoyed spending time with all her family, church and choir, bingo, card games, knitting, painting, camping, most of all traveling with her sister and brother-in-law to many exciting places with Hawaii being her favorite.
JoAnn is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, Alton E Whitney of Lewiston and their four daughters; Bonnie (Whitney) and her husband Dennis of Gray; Julie (Whitney) Busler and her husband Gerald of Nashua NH; Jolyn Whitney and her companion Edwin Fogg of Lewiston; Alice (Whitney) Crawford and her husband Daniel of Auburn; One older sister Catherine (Shaw) Benjamin of Dover Foxcroft. She also leaves a younger sister Sandra (Shaw) Taylor of South Portland; a younger brother Frederick L. Shaw of South Portland as well as fifteen grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
JoAnn was predeceased by her parents; a son Harold E. Whitney; a sister Dorothy (Shaw) Whitney and two brothers Robert E. Shaw Jr. and Charles Shaw.
The family would like to thank the staff of doctors, nurses, and therapists at CMMC for giving her much care and compassion during her stay and making it an easier transition for her and our family during this time.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service on Friday, May 11, 2018 at Free Grace Church, 160 Canal Street, Lewiston from 3 - 6 p.m.
Lisbon Falls, ME - Arthur "Art" Emery Landry, 67 of Lisbon Falls, passed away on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at his home after a sudden illness.
Art was born Sept 29, 1950 to Emery Arthur and Jacqueline B (Martin) Landry. He was a graduate of Lisbon High School.
Art proudly served in the USAF, spending the majority of his career at Loring AFB where he was an F-106 mechanic. He enjoyed the outdoors in Aroostook County and made many wonderful friends. After the Air Force, he was a long-haul truck driver until his retirement due to service connected disabilities.
Arthur is survived by his wife of 45 years, Geraldine A. (Woodcock) Landry, his two sisters Linda and her husband Gordon Fidler of Palm Desert, CA and Carol Demers and her partner Kenny Johnson of Yarmouth, ME. He is also survived by three children; Kim and her husband Greg Gush of Hudson, NH, Ricky Landry and his fiancé Windy of Litchfield, NH and Emery Landry and his fiancé Barbara Morin of Hudson, NH. Additionally, Art leaves behind 8 grandchildren who miss their : Ryan, Lauren, Gregory, Victoria, Cristian, Mikayla, Abigail and Emma as well as a great-granddaughter, Ava.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.