CHELSEA – Ancyl Sterling Thurston died May 12, 2012, in Portland, after a short illness. He was born Sept. 16, 1935, in Saco, the first surviving child of Lawrence Beulan and Esther Marie (Nielsen) Thurston.
He was educated in local schools, graduating in 1954 from Thornton Academy, where he was given the nickname "Tiger." He graduated from the University of Maine, Orono, in 1958, with a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry, and a membership in Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. He married Lois Ware Jan. 31, 1958, in Gardiner. After the birth of their first son, Scott Albert, he left for service in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Virginia and Texas. While in Virginia their daughter, Linda Joyce, was born. After serving his ROTC duty he returned to Maine, where their second son, Timothy Paul, was born. After active duty he remained in the Army Reserve until 1979, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. Upon his return to Maine he began his career with Maine Forest Service, first as a district forester based in Wiscasset, and then as the regional director, based in Island Falls. He next was the operations manager for Spruce Budworm spray project for the duration of that project. His last position was as special project coordinator, a liaison between the state and the large land owners. His professional associations included the Society of American Foresters, Small Woodlot Owners Association, state of Maine Tree Farm Committee and Western and Northern Maine forest forums. After his retirement from public service in 1995, he delivered flowers and plants for Longfellow’s Greenhouses, Manchester. Ancyl and Lois were very active with Old South Church, Hallowell, where he served in many lay capacities, including as a deacon, a trustee and on the building restoration committee. He was an active student of the Civil War, particularly of Joshua Chamberlain. He was a member of Chamberlain Civil War Round Table and spent much of his vacation time throughout the years visiting battle and other sites connected to the war, particularly Gettysburg. His other avocations included fishing, gardening and watching football.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Lois; his son, Scott of Milton Mills, N.H.; his daughter, Linda and her husband, Phillip Weston, of Gray; his son, Timothy and his wife, Del, of Pittston; his grandsons, Stephen and Nicholas of Pittston and Jonathan James of Gray; his brother, Norris and family of Raleigh, N.C.; his sister, Joyce and family of Saco; his sister, Avis of New Gloucester; as well as his many friends from all his walks of life.
A memorial service will be held 1-3 p.m. Friday, May 18, at Staples Funeral Home, 53 Brunswick Ave., Gardiner. Interment with full military honors will take place 4 p.m. Friday at Fairbanks Cemetery, West Gardiner. In lieu of flowers, his family requests that donations be made in his name to Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Ave., 7th floor, New York, NY 10001 or at www.alzfdn.org.