CAMDEN — George Shepherd McKiernan, 89, died Nov. 29, 2019, peacefully at his home after a festive holiday week with family and friends.
George was born Aug. 24, 1930 in New Haven, Connecticut to George and Sarah Shepherd McKiernan.
He spent his childhood in Woodbridge, Connecticut, close to the Shepherd family farm, which at one time was the largest milk supplier to New Haven.
George graduated from Hillhouse High School of New Haven in 1948. He joined the Naval Reserve and then enrolled at the Citadel in Charleston, S.C. In 1950 he was called up for active duty for the Korean War and subsequently joined the Air Force in 1951. He served in the 7050th Air Intelligence Service Wing stationed in Germany.
After being discharged in 1954, he returned to the Citadel and graduated in 1958. He met his wife, Shirley, on a blind date and they married in 1957. Together they raised two children, Polly and Stacy, in his home town of Woodbridge, surrounded by his extended family.
In 1958, George began work at New Departure-Hyatt, a division of General Motors, in Bristol, Conn. He worked his way from the junior engineer training program to manufacturing superintendent of Grind Production where he supervised 600 plus employees on three shifts making high precision ball bearings for the automotive industry. After a career of 30 years, he retired in 1988.
George was active in the Woodbridge community, volunteering with the Fire Department for 20 years, he held the position of fire commissioner for four years, he served on the library board for six years, including four years as chairman, and he served on the Conservation Commission for four years.
In 1992, George moved to Waldoboro, Maine and then to Camden in 1994. In 2014 he moved to a cottage at the Quarry Hill Retirement Community.
George found rewarding volunteer opportunities in Maine which included twenty years at Coastal Family Hospice, serving on its board for four years. He also volunteered at the Camden-Rockport Animal Rescue League (now P.A.W.S.), transporting cats to veterinary appointments.
George was a long-standing member of the “Elite Coffee Group” that meets six mornings a week at the Camden Deli. Afterwards, he would often head next door to Mariners Restaurant for breakfast with a coffee group member or two, or he would join a table with folks he saw there on a regular basis. The fellowship and comradeship of these outings was a special and significant part of his daily routine.
His Monday afternoons were always reserved for playing poker with his loyal group. He won the “jackpot,” days before he passed away, walking away with a huge grin on his face.
In 2016, George was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow with the Camden Rotary Club. The award was presented by Parker Laite, a member of the club and George’s unparalleled companion. George said that he felt there were more deserving individuals for the award than him, but the club felt differently and recognized him for “his countless hours of volunteer time given to hospice, the local library and the fire department where he has lived.”
He was predeceased by his wife, Shirley, of 45 years, and his sisters Joan, Suzanne and Sarah.
George is survived by his daughters, Polly Werner and her husband Frank of Munich, Germany; Stacy McKiernan and her husband Timothy Vile of Northfield, Vt.; and his beloved grandchildren, Simon and Sarah Werner of Munich, Germany.
George had an infectious personality filled with sharp wit and a dry sense of humor touching almost all that crossed his path.
The family would like to thank the community that supported him as well as his caregivers from Camden Senior Care.
A Memorial Service will be held Sunday, Dec. 8, at 1 p.m., at the First Congregational Church UCC, 55 Elm St., Camden, with the Rev. Dr. Ute S. Molitor officiating. A reception will follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Rockport Library DVD and Audio Book Fund, or Coastal Family Hospice.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.longfuneralhomecamden.com.
Arrangements are in the care of Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain St., Camden.