David R. Getchell, Sr., obituary

Posted:  Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 1:00pm
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APPLETON — David R. Getchell, Sr., 89, author, editor and outdoorsman, died as he wished, at home and surrounded by family on November 10.

Over the course of 22 years, he was managing editor and editor of the Maine Coast FishermanNational Fisherman, and founding editor of the Small Boat Journal and the Mariner's Catalog in Camden, Maine. Later, he co-founded the Maine Island Trail and created the Georges Highland Path, a 40-mile-long hiking trail system in the midcoast for Georges River Land Trust. In 1994, he edited and was lead author of The Outboard Boater's Handbook.

Active in the founding or operation of several nonprofit environmental organizations, he always made time for his favorite sport of surf fishing. He also partnered in 1980 with mountaineer Geof Heath of Hammondsport, New York, in a month-long, two-man climbing expedition 400 miles along the Labrador coast in an 18-foot open boat.

In the early 1980s, he and his wife Dorrie made a number of long bicycle trips, the most ambitious being a five-month, 8,000-mile cross-country tour to the West Coast and back to Maine. Both considered this a high point in a happy marriage of 67 years.

Mr. Getchell was born in Bangor, Maine, the son of George V. and Nettie R. Getchell. He graduated from Bangor High School, attended Bowdoin College and graduated from the University of Maine in Orono with a degree in journalism. He served in the U.S. Army as an infantry training officer.

He is survived by his wife Dorrie; his son, David, Jr., of Camden; his daughter, Heidi and her husband David Perkins of Lincolnville; a sister, Virginia E. Naugler of Hartford, Connecticut; two granddaughters, Ali and Holly Perkins of Lincolnville; two nephews, Robert Verrier III of Cumberland, Maine, and James S. Naugler of LaCrosse, Wisconsin; a niece, Michelle Verrier of Cody, Wyoming; a sister-in-law, Barbara Hall of Westbrook, Maine; and two cousins, Betty Heald of Lincolnville and Marjorie Lucas of Florida. A niece, Martha Kaul of Lincoln, Nebraska, predeceased him.

A celebration of his life and work will be held November 18 at Bay View Point Event Center on Spring Street in Belfast, from 1-4 p.m. Donations in memory of Mr. Getchell can be made to the Maine Island Trail Association, 100 Kensington St., 2nd floor, Portland, ME, 04103; the Georges River Land Trust, 8 No. Main St., Suite 200, Rockland, ME, 04841; or Friends of Baxter State Park, P.O. Box 609, Union, ME, 04862-0609.