SEARSPORT and UNITY – Donald F. Mortland passed away Feb. 27, 2014, at Penobscot Bay Medical Center surrounded by his loving family. Donald was born Jan. 20, 1927, in Searsport, to Ralph and Annie (Buck) Mortland.
Donald loved to regale family and friends with stories of his childhood spent on the Mortland farm with his brothers Phil and Hilt, and his memories of the people of his beloved hometown, Searsport. Many of his memories were brought to life in the books he published later in life, most notably The Merry Widow Foxtrot.
After graduating as valedictorian of his class at Searsport High School, Donald volunteered to serve his country in the Army during World War II. After the war he earned degrees at Bowdoin College and Yale, and then embarked on a teaching career at high schools and preparatory schools throughout Maine and New Hampshire. While teaching at Potter Academy, he met fellow teacher and love of his life, Jacqueline Currier. They married and had two children, Deborah and Pamela.
In 1965, Donald became a member of the small first faculty of Unity College (then called the Unity Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences) .He was drawn to Unity by the original mission of the college, to make a college education accessible to those in Waldo County. For the next 30 years he would teach English, chair committees, produce plays, and support the college in any way he could. His dedication and love for the college and his students was repaid many times over by those students who continued to visit and correspond with him long after they had graduated. While living in Unity, Donald was an active and supportive member of the Unity Union Church, his belief in God was a cornerstone of his life.
In the past five years as a result of declining health, Donald lived at the Residence at Tall Pines in Belfast and finally at Woodlands Memory Care in Rockland. The family would like to express their gratitude for the exceptional care he received at both facilities.
Donald is survived by his daughters, Pamela Mortland and her spouse, Anita Ballou, of Milton, Mass., and Deborah Woodbury and her husband, Michael Woodbury, of Morrill; his grandchildren, Jennifer, Laura, Kelsey, and Reid Woodbury and wife, Regina; as well as great-grandchildren, Riley, Anna, and Reid Woodbury II.
Services to celebrate Donald’s life will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at Young Funeral Home, 31 West Main St., Searsport. A reception with light fare will follow at Ocean’s Edge Restaurant at the Fireside Inn. Throughout his life Donald took great pride in Searsport’s storied maritime history and worked to preserve it. In light of this, the family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Penobscot Marine Museum, or a charity of your choice. www.mitchelltweedie-young.com.