Thomas Wilson, obituary

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 12:45pm

Thomas Wilson, age 79, passed away on October 6, 2021 at the Sussman House in Rockland, Maine.

Tom was a teacher, sailor, musician, singer, builder, and father to two children, Monica Baugh and Daisy Wilson. He spent his early years in Palmerton, Pennsylvania and in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where he developed a love of sailing. That passion evolved and Tom spent many years living aboard a sailboat, and his adventurous spirit brought him through many parts of the Caribbean and South America. He and his former wife Virginia Wilson raised Monica for the first two years of her life aboard a 27 foot sailboat in the Bahamas.

After graduating from Yale University, Tom spent time in the Peace Corps in Puerto Rico, where he developed a proficiency in Spanish that would later serve him as a Spanish teacher in Maine. 

When Tom was a teacher at Pownal Elementary he raised funds with his students for the Monteverde Children’s rainforest in Costa Rica, and a group of students and he traveled there together to visit and learn skills that would stay with them forever.

He learned woodworking and building skills from his father, and worked with friends to build the family’s home in South Freeport, Maine in 1975. He had finely tuned veneer skills and in addition to his home and barn, later learned to build canoes and kayaks. He always had a garden – in South Freeport he tended to rose bushes and the family vegetable garden, and spending time sitting and walking in nature brought him peace and fulfillment. 

Tom spent his remaining 15 years in Searsmont, Maine where he developed many friendships with neighbors and members of the True Heart Sangha in Camden. Buddhism was an important element of his life, and he found peace with both life and dying through sitting meditation.

His final days were spent with his daughter, members of the Sangha, his neighbors, and new friends he found in the caregivers at the Sussman House. He was supported in his transition by members of his Sangha, and by other Sangha members from as far away as California and Hawaii who brought him with them on walking and sitting meditations to offer support and guidance in his last days. 

In the Buddhist tradition, a ceremony will be held with the True Heart Sangha on the 7th day after his passing, and again on the 49th. His family will celebrate and remember together privately.

The words that he saw when he was the most close to death were “A cloud never dies”, and he will continue to thrive in his essence, always present, always changing, and always free.