AUGUSTA, Maine — Dodge Morgan, the first American to complete a solo sail around the globe without stopping; auto dealership magnate Shep Lee; and Ronald Lee Herrick, who donated a kidney to his dying twin brother 56 years ago in what’s recognized as the world’s first successful organ transplant are among the prominent and notable Mainers who died during 2010.
Morgan, 78, died Sept. 14 of complications from cancer. Morgan had turned his small marine radar company into the successful Whistler brand of detectors before his epic voyage around the world. He set a record in 1986 when he completed the solo sail in his 60-foot American Promise in 150 days, 1 hour and 6 minutes.
Shepard “Shep” Lee, 83, who was best known for his chain of car dealerships but was also active in Maine civic affairs, died June 23. The World War II Navy veteran, who built a family car dealership known as the Lee Auto Malls, served on the boards of the University of Southern Maine’s business and law schools, the Muskie School of Public Service and the Maine Community College system. He was also a recipient of the American Civil Liberties Union’s highest award, the Roger Baldwin Award.
Gov. John Baldacci, who appointed Lee to the board of the Finance Authority of Maine, said Lee “kept to those Democratic values of civil rights and human rights, even if the causes worked against his personal financial or business interests.”
Herrick, who was 79, died Dec. 27 of complications after heart surgery that had been performed in October. In 1954, Herrick donated a kidney to his twin brother, Richard, at what is now Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The first successful organ transplant operation kept Herrick’s brother alive for eight years. The lead surgeon, Dr. Joseph Murray, went on to win a Nobel Prize.
Others from Maine or with strong Maine connections who died in 2010 include:
Kenneth Nolan, an artist who became prominent in an abstract expressionist style called Color Field painting, died Jan. 5 of cancer at his home in Port Clyde at age 85. His works are found in museums around the world including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Boston Museum of Fine Art and the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland.
Donald Pelotte, 64, the nation’s first Native American bishop, died Jan. 7 at a Florida hospital from an undisclosed illness. The Waterville, Maine, native served for 18 years as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, which covers northwestern New Mexico and northeastern Arizona, before retiring in 2008.
Bob Pickett, a former football coach at the University of Massachusetts who led the Minutemen to four Yankee Conference championships, died Feb. 2. The Augusta native was 75. Pickett compiled a 36-28 record coaching UMass before stepping down in 1983.
Eva Price, a Brewer native who mended soldiers in World War II and became the state’s oldest Army nurse, died Feb. 11. She was 101. At the age of 100 Price was honored by Gov. John Baldacci and other dignitaries in the nursing home where she resided.
Bob Hatch, who was athletic director at Bates College for 17 years after coaching football at the Maine school, died Feb. 13 at age 85. Hatch served three years with the Marines during World War II and later attended Boston University, where he played baseball and football. Hatch was drafted by the New York Yankees of the old All-America Football Conference and the National Football League’s New York Giants.
Dr. Edward Andrews, former president of the Maine Medical Center and the University of Vermont, died Feb. 19 in Yarmouth. Andrews, 85, was UVM president from 1970 until 1975 when he became president of the Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he served until he retired in 1988.
Frederick Hutchinson, who was University of Maine president from 1992 to 1997, when he retired, died April 7 at age 79. The first member of his family to go to college, Hutchinson served as provost at Ohio State University before returning to UMaine to serve as president.
Delmont “Del” Merrill, Down East blueberry grower and president of Husson University from 1978 to 1987, died April 19 at age 84 after suffering from leukemia.
David McLaughlin, a Milo woodsman and skidder operator who had a supporting role on Discovery Channel’s “American Loggers,” died April 23. McLaughlin, who was 45, suffered from a severe diabetic condition.
Former Maine state Rep. Catherine “Kay” Lebowitz, 94, who also served on the Bangor City Council, died April 26.
Prescott Bush Jr., 87, brother to one U.S. president and uncle to another, died June 23 in Hingham, Mass. Bush was born in Portland, Maine.
Matthew Simmons, 67, an energy investment banker who became an advocate for alternative energy, died Aug. 8 at his North Haven island home. The founder of Houston-based Simmons & Co. International wrote the 2005 book “Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy,” raising concerns about Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves and laying out his theory that the world was approaching peak oil production.
Katherine “Kay” Louise Coffin Mills, 93, matriarch of a politically prominent Maine family, died Oct. 4. Mills, of Farmington, was the mother of the state’s attorney general for the last two years, Janet Mills; outgoing state health director Dora Anne Mills and former state senator and Republican gubernatorial candidate Peter Mills.
Tom Auger Sr. of Lewiston, 82, who grew a used tire changing machine in an old barn into the VIP Discount Auto Center chain, died Oct. 6. Auger’s business career started after playing baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system. A shoulder injury ended his baseball playing days.
Dan Paradee, 54, whose name became familiar to commuters as the Maine Turnpike Authority’s spokesman, died Nov. 23 of pancreatic cancer. Dressing in a Miles the Turnpike Moose costume each Labor Day weekend, Paradee handed out token gifts to to departing tourists at the York Toll Plaza as a goodwill gesture.