BELFAST – John G. Hawthorne, 77, passed away Feb. 2, 2014, surrounded by his loving wife and scotch foursome partner of 56 years, and his children, following a courageous fight with cancer. He was born July 22, 1936, as the elder son of John G. Hawthorne Sr. and Marjorie (Crosby) Hawthorne in Calais, Maine although the family lived in Milltown, New Brunswick, Canada, at the time.
John moved to Belfast with his mother in 1952 where he attended Crosby High School as a member of the class of 1955. He spent time as a medic in the Air National Guard at Dow Air Base in Bangor. John married high school friend and classmate, Janice Larrabee, in 1957.John was an avid golfer and it is said Janice’s golf swing was the initial attraction. John became a teaching professional when he and Janice purchased Sebasticook Golf Club in Newport, Maine and began their family life.
While he never gave up his love of the game, he left the world of professional golf to pursue a career as a chemist for Sobin Chlor-Alkali in Orrington and raise his family. His entrepreneurship led him to start his own lab in Belfast which drew the attention of the owners of Mathews Brothers Company for his hard work. John joined Mathews Brothers in 1973 and became a partner with Peter Haddock in 1978. John became President of Mathews Brothers Company in 1986 and worked to grow the window and door business moving the manufacturing facility to Perkins Road in 1991. Following his retirement in 1998, John and Janice became Florida residents, living in Winter Haven until this past winter.
John was a civic-minded individual working for the community and others in a number of capacities during his lifetime. He served as president of the Belfast Little League while his son played. He was a mason, leader for Rainbow for his daughters, and a Shriner with Anah Temple, where he helped start the medic unit for Anah Shrine. He was past-president of the Belfast Rotary Club and received the Paul Harris Fellowship for his work with Rotary 100 Fund. He served on the hospital board of the Waldo County General Hospital and on the Bangor Savings Bank’s Customer Advisory Council.
Besides golf, John enjoyed boating, antique cars, ultra-lite aircrafts, playing cards and spending time with his friends and family. He was an inventor, wood worker, puzzle-maker, and tinkerer, but always a perfectionist working to improve whatever he had undertaken as a project.
John is deeply loved and will be dearly missed by those who knew him including his champion dachshund racer, Mitzi.
John was predeceased by his parents, John (1983) and Marjorie (2011); his brother, Dexter (1990); and half brother, David (2000); and many dear friends.
John was survived by his wife, Janice; son, Scott and his wife, Kelley (Hornberger), of Belfast; daughter, Alison and husband, Mike Rovinski, of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; daughter, Lisa Jo and husband, Jim Desmarteau, of West Palm Beach, Fla. A week following John’s death, his beloved wife, Janice, died of heart complications and has joined him in Heaven for an eternity of golf games, charity work and love.
“Bump” is loved and survived by his grandchildren, Lisa Marie and husband, Aneal Virick, Kyle and wife, Kelly (Harnden), Alex and significant other, Lindsay DeBoer, and Michael, Allison, Christine, and Mary Rovinski; and great-grandchildren, Mikayla and Drake Hawthorne, and Miles, Alka and Stella Virick.
John is also survived by three half sisters, Karen Donaher and husband, Keith, Pamelia Flood and husband, Gary, and Christine Ross and husband, Peter.
A Wake and Celebration of John and Janice’s lives will take place 5-8 p.m. Thursday evening, Feb. 20, at 18 Spring St., Belfast. A memorial service will be held 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, Feb. 21, at Mathews Brothers Co., Perkins Road, Belfast. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to either the John G. & Janice H. Hawthorne Scholarship Fund of the Belfast Rotary Club, 34 Mayo St., Belfast, ME 04915; or to the Waldo County General Hospital’s Oncology or Hospice unit. Arrangements are under the care of Riposta Funeral Home Belfast. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.ripostafh.com.