Joseph O. 'Gump' Coolbroth Sr., obituary

Posted:  Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 4:45pm

ROCKLAND — Joseph O. “Gump” Coolbroth Sr., 90, died April 15, 2017, at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, following an extended illness.

Born in Lynne, Mass., on Dec. 20, 1926, he was the youngest of six children of Charles A. and Elizabeth Sweetland Coolbroth. At a young age he moved to Tenants Harbor with his family. He attended local schools.

He was a World War II, U.S. Navy Veteran and served aboard the U.S.S. Upshur.

Returning home, Gump hauled pulp wood for a while before beginning his career as a commercial fisherman. On Dec. 8, 1956, he married Gloria M. Curtis in Rockland. The couple made their home in Tenants Harbor most of their married lives.

He first worked independently as a lobsterman and later as a commercial fisherman. For many years he captained commercial fishing vessels out of ports along the Eastern Seaboard. Gump was a hard worker all his life and continued working after his formal retirement in 2009, following more than 60 years of fishing.

In his younger years, Gump was recognized as a semi-pro boxer.

He enjoyed digging clams, picking crab meat and did most anything associated with seafood or fishing.

He loved feeding the birds and animals around his home and enjoyed the challenge of keeping the squirrels from eating his bird food.

He was a member of American Legion Post No. 178, Waterville, and attended Tenants Harbor Baptist Church.

For several years, Gump resided at the Methodist Conference Home and more recently at the Knox Center, both in Rockland. He was known as a joker and was always flirting with his caregivers. Gump was devoted to all his family.

In addition to his parents, Gump was predeceased by his wife, Gloria in 2013; a daughter, Heather Coolbroth Bowring in 1990; a step-son, Lawrence H. Wilson Jr. in 1997; a granddaughter, Shiloh Marie Meklin in 2013; four siblings, Grace Morey, Eleanor Mosley, Arlene Thompson and Charles Coolbroth Jr., as well as his first wife and mother of five of his children, Esther L. Harriman.

He is survived by his children, Joseph O. Coolbroth Jr. of Waterville, Josephine L. Cushman and her husband, John, of Searsmont, Cynthia Pobelette and her husband, Salvadore, of Rockland, Mary Howard and her husband, David, of Rockport, Janice Wilson of Thomaston, Joyce Wilson of Tenants Harbor, Charlene Joy and her husband, Terry, of Rockland, and Jennie L. Coolbroth of Westbrook; one sister, Jennie Payne of Palo Alto, Calif.; a sister-in-law, Donna Coolbroth Maxwell of Tennats Harbor; several sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law; 26 grandchildren; 52 great-grandchildren; and eight great-great-grandchildren.

Relatives and friends are invited to visit Wednesday, April 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St. in Rockland, where a celebration of Gump's life will be held Thursday, April 27, at 11 a.m. The Rev. Bill Hickey will officiate. A reception will follow at the funeral home's 104 Limerock facility. A committal service will be held Thursday, May 4, at 10 a.m. at Seaside Cemetery in Tenants Harbor.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the St. George Ambulance and Firefighters Association, P.O. Box 249, Tenants Harbor, ME 04860.