KENNEBUNK, Maine — A memorial mass to honor the life of William “Billy Mac” McIntire was held Sunday at the Franciscan Monastery, where more than 500 friends and family members gathered from near and far to say goodbye to a friend, family member and fisherman.
McIntire, who lived in the Cape Neddick section of York, was lost at sea on Aug. 22, just off Perkins Cove in Ogunquit. Authorities said the tuna fisherman went out on his boat, The Clover, that night with friends, jumped in the water and was never seen again.
After an opening prayer, McIntire’s sister, Kim McIntire, shared memories of her brother.
“We are here today to not be sad and grieve but to remember all the good about Billy,” she said.
Kim McIntire, the only daughter growing up in a family with three brothers, went on to describe her brother as good at everything he tried.
“He could do anything he wanted to and he would excel at it,” she said.
She ended her tribute to her brother with this message spoken directly to him, “Billy, all of our love forever. Mom and Dad, Bobby, Shane, Savannah, Jordan and Kimmy.”
McIntire’s niece, Jordan McIntire, also spoke about her uncle at the service.
“He always put others before himself … and even though he was my uncle, I always thought of him as my friend — because he sometimes acted my age,” she said to laughs and smiles. Jordan concluded by saying, “He was the best uncle in the world, and I am going to miss him.”
The shared memories were followed by a homily, during which Father John Bacevicius spoke of separation from loved ones by death.
“This is not a complete separation — it is temporary one — just as we would be going on a vacation,” he said, elaborating with a personal story of his own recent experience of loss with his two brothers, the youngest and oldest. The younger brother was caring for the older brother, even though both were terminally ill. The youngest brother said to the older brother just before he passed, “Don’t worry I will wait for you,” and he did indeed wait, passing just two days later.
The poem “To those I love,” by Isla Paschal Richardson was chosen by McIntire’s aunt, Judy Donnell, to accompany the memorial program. Donnell said this poem was a most fitting tribute to him.
“I chose this one because it was perfect for Billy,” she said.
A portion of the poem reads:
“If I should ever leave you whom I love
To go along the silent way — grieve not.
Nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there …”
Alecia McIntire, McIntire’s mother, chose a “Prayer in Sorrow” for her son.
“God, in all consolation, in your unending love and mercy for us, you turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life. Show compassion to your people in sorrow. Be our refuge and our strength to lift us from the darkness of this grief to peace and joy in your presence.”