BANGOR – Sterling Atwood Dymond Jr., 93, passed away peacefully at a local nursing home Tuesday morning, Jan. 7, 2014. He was born Sept. 26, 1920, in Bangor, to the late Sterling, Sr. and Janie Mae (Simmons) Dymond.
Sterling was a life-long Bangor resident and a proud African American who dearly loved his family and friends, hometown, state, and country. A 1938 graduate of Bangor High School, Sterling was a civilian employee of Dow Air Force Base during World War II and later worked for Northeast Airlines as a ground marshaller. One job highlight included being a member of the crew that marshalled Air Force One during President Lyndon Johnson’s passthrough in 1966 and having the opportunity to shake the President’s hand. He also worked for Maine Central Railroad and, after receiving his associate’s degree from Husson, he became an engineering technician and joined the USDA – Soil Conservation Service, retiring in 1985. Sterling continued to work part-time for 12 years at the former Bangor Auditorium, working in concessions, selling/taking tickets and greeting guests. Sterling was an avid sports fan who enjoyed following many athletic teams, including Bangor High School, University of Maine, and New England’s professional sports teams. He golfed well into his 80s and never missed a tournament featuring Tiger Woods. Sterling also loved music, especially Jazz, and attending performances featuring local talent. Sterling was baptized at St. John’s Episcopal Church and became a member during his teens, holding various lay positions over the years; past Worshipful Master and 35-year 32 degree Brother of North Star Lodge No. 22, Prince Hall Masons Jurisdiction of Massachusetts; and former president of the Bangor Area Chapter of the NAACP. He was interviewed twice by the Bangor Daily News: for its series on racial and ethnic communities in the city and after President Obama’s historic election in 2008. Later in life, he gave presentations about growing up as an African American in Bangor. He was also interviewed and featured in two books about African Americans in Maine: Black Bangor by Maureen Elgersman Lee, and Maine’s Visible Black History, by H.H. Price and Gerald E. Talbot. In his mid 80s, he volunteered at the American Folk Festival. For his civic contributions, Sterling received one of the 34 Paul Bunyan Citizen’s Award from the City of Bangor in 2009. He had supported and was thrilled by the progress Bangor has made to become a vibrant cultural and educational center in Central Maine, even requesting to be driven by the Cross Center during its construction when he could no longer drive himself.
Sterling was predeceased by his wife of 32 years, Dorothy (McIntyre) Dymond; his parents; sisters, Helena George, June Turner, Florence Roundtree, and Edythe Duvernay; and brothers, Edward, Simmons, and Paul Dymond. He is survived by his children, Nancy and Sterling III of Bangor and Claudia of Brooklyn, N.Y.; brother, Wilfred of Bangor; many nieces and nephews (including Roger George of Bangor and Lloyd George of Glenburn) and their respective families; as well as extended family throughout the US and Canada.
The family wishes to thank good friends Steve Gatchell, Julie Macleod and Joanna Farris for their support and help in caring for Sterling while he was at home. The family also thanks the wonderful staff on “A” Wing at Brewer Rehabilitation and Living Center and the staff of Hospice of Maine for their attention to care and affection for Sterling during his stay at the facility.
Friends are invited to call 1-3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, at Brookings Smith, 133 Center St., Bangor. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 10, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 225 French St., Bangor, with the Rev. Cn. Marguerite A.H. Steadman, Rector, presiding. Relatives and friends are invited to share conversation and refreshments in the church undercroft immediately following the funeral. Internment at Pine Grove Cemetery, Bangor. Gifts in Sterling’s memory may be made to the Youth and Outreach Ministries of St. John’s Episcopal Church Parish Office, 234 French St., Bangor, ME 04401; or the College Scholarship Fund of the North Star Lodge No. 22, 156 Cedar St., Bangor, ME 04401. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.