The informal gathering and time of sharing for Freeman “Ed” Dodge will be held Saturday, February 12, 2022, from 2 to 4 p.m., at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street in Rockland, where U.S. Coast Guard Military Honors will be rendered at 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mussel Ridge Historical Society, P.O. Box 133, Owls Head, ME 04854 or online at https://www.musselridge.org/
OWLS HEAD — Freeman Edward Dodge “Ed,” 83, died Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at his residence surrounded by the love of his family.
Born in Boothbay Harbor on December 13, 1938, he was the only child of Freeman E. Dodge and Katharine Seavey Dodge. He was educated in Boothbay Schools and graduated from Boothbay Region High School in 1957.
As a young child, growing up in the 1940s, Ed adored his dad and watched and learned from everything he did. As an only child, he had close relationships with his cousins and felt very connected to his aunts and uncles. Ed recalled that one of his favorite memories from childhood occurred after World War II when his father was stationed at the Naval base in Norfolk (1944-1945). Eddie (as he was referred to as a child) and his mother lived there during the summer. They were in Norfolk after VJ Day and were there when the USS Missouri arrived back from the signing of the surrender of Japan. An open house was held a few days later and people were given tours on the Missouri, an airplane carrier, and a submarine. Seven-year-old Eddie was thrilled.
As a teenager, Ed had his brush with fame. In 1956, along with his high school English class, he was an extra in the movie Carousel, which was being filmed in Boothbay Harbor.
Besides his family, Ed loved sports. He started playing them early and was an excellent athlete, lettering in football, basketball and baseball in high school. He was also a lifeguard and proficient swimmer. When he was a freshman his JV football team achieved a perfect winning record. During his senior year, he also participated in spring track, throwing the javelin. At the state meet, he came in 2nd in the javelin, missing 1st because that participant split his marker in half. In football, he was a running back and quarterback, and in baseball a catcher, important leadership positions requiring a vast knowledge of each sport.
In 1982, Ed had the opportunity to start coaching at Rockland District High School, coaching freshman football and girls JV basketball through the mid-1980s. He had always wanted to be a coach. Under his leadership, his freshman football team achieved a perfect winning record in 1985. He was an avid Patriots and Red Sox fan. Once he retired, he would visit his youngest daughter, Susy, each year in Boston and they would go to a Red Sox game together. She loved hearing all his stories about Fenway Park’s history and all the players he looked up to when he was a young boy.
In addition to his family and sports, Ed loved the ocean. He decided to attend Maine Maritime Academy because he wanted to learn navigation. After being there two years and making lifelong friends, he left to go lobstering. In 1961, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard to fulfill the military requirement at the time.
He was honorably discharged in April 1965. He spent much of his time on the USCG Cutter Duane, of which he often spoke. Ed was stationed at the Rockland base for the remainder of his Coast Guard enlistment. He served as a crew member of a small buoy boat repairing buoys around the Penobscot Bay area and going to the last U.S. buoy, in the St. Croix River. He also served several months as one of the three lighthouse keepers on Heron Neck. It was during his Coast Guard years that he met his future wife. One of his friends from Maine Maritime Academy was Peter Ross. In Ed’s own words, Peter’s wife, Ruth, decided that Ed “shouldn’t be running around loose anymore” and they had the perfect match for Ed, Kay Ross, who was Peter’s cousin. Kay and Ed met on a blind date and two months later they were married on January 4,1964. It was during their first year of marriage that Ed served as a relief keeper of various lighthouses in the Midcoast area. They both had fond memories of their time as newlyweds living at the lighthouses.
Throughout the late 1960s – early 1970s, Kay and Ed settled into their home in Owl’s Head where they raised three daughters – Christina, Katie, and Susy – and numerous animals including: dogs, cats, a sheep, and a horse. He loved the adventures he had with all the animals. He loved that Katie would ride her horse, Madam, to Owl’s Head harbor and greeted him as he rowed ashore from his day’s work on the water.
While raising his family, Ed was a commercial fisherman/lobsterman. Besides lobster, he also fished for shrimp, groundfish, and scallops. He had actually started this career at age twelve, lobstering with his father, and took a break during his time at Maine Maritime Academy and while serving in the Coast Guard. Many of his nephews and younger cousins were sternmen for him at various times. He gave each of his girls a chance to lobster with him, but it was his eldest daughter, Christina, who stuck with it. She joined him lobstering at age 12 and for six summers she filled bait bags, and gained his love of the ocean, his understanding of precise navigation in all things and courageous tenacity from working beside him. Christina also remembers how much she enjoyed going mackerel fishing with him on a number of occasions. From 1980-1984, he taught future fishermen the art of the profession at the Region 8 Vocational School, while lobstering part time during the summer. He returned to lobstering full-time in the mid 1980s and continued this work until he retired in 1996. He was also active in the New England Fisheries Management Council and the University of Maine Fisheries Extension.
Ed was very civic-minded and became active in local town government, even as he was raising a family and working full-time as a fisherman. His strong moral compass and his down to earth, even-keeled, common-sense approach to problem solving was appreciated by many people. In Owl’s Head, he was a member of the Planning Board, Harbor Committee, Town Council and served twice as Harbormaster. He was also a Selectman from 1975-1981, serving as Chairman the entire time, as well as being a member of the Midcoast Regional Planning Commission.
Ed loved deer hunting his entire life and in later years was joined by his sons-in-law, Tim and Frank, as well as his daughter Christina. He also took up an interest in archery and took a two-day Bow Hunters Safety course with his daughter Katie and her husband, Tim.
In retirement, Ed was living his best life - hunting, boating, fishing, cutting wood, going on adventures with his best canine friends, Cameron and then Tuomo, and traveling nationally and internationally. He even took up a love for cooking in his later years, much to the dismay of Kay. He was also an active member of the FinnAm Society and willingly volunteered at the Mussel Ridge Historical Society. Finally, in 2009, he became a “Pops” to Abbie and then Liam in 2011. They remained the twinkle in his eyes until his passing.
Ed will be remembered by his friends and family for his huge heart for people and animals, endless patience, and his love of telling stories and dancing. He not only loved his daughters and wife dearly but he embraced all his sons-in-law, nieces, nephews, and his Finnish exchange daughter, Janita, as his own. He loved teaching future generations about hunting, fishing, navigation, carpentry, engines, and tree cutting/wood chopping.
Predeceased by his parents, he is survived by his wife of 58 years, Kay; and his three daughters, Christina Linscott and her husband David, Katie Swenson and her husband Tim, and Susan Gallagher and her husband Frank and their children, Abbie and Liam as well as many nieces and nephews and several cousins.
An informal gathering, and time of sharing will be held on Saturday, January 29, 2022, from 2 to 4 p.m., at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street in Rockland, where U.S. Coast Guard Military Funeral Honors will be rendered at 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mussel Ridge Historical Society, PO Box 133, Owls Head, ME 04854 or online at https://www.musselridge.org/
To share a memory or condolence with Ed’s family, please visit their Book of Memories at bchfh.com
Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter, and Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.