BELFAST – Captain Reverend John W. Tremblay, Navy veteran, man of the sea, and longtime devoted patriot, took his final voyage on March 11, 2014, at his home in Belfast, Maine. A devout Christian who became an ordained minister late in his life, he died hours after sharing communion with a terminally ill friend. He was found in the chair where he said his evening prayers by long-time friend Captain John David Waterhouse, with whom he spent his final day on this earth.
Born on June 24, 1943, John Tremblay grew up in Maine and Massachusetts, son of the late Wilfred and Mary Tremblay. His childhood was not an easy one, but the power of his faith, instilled in him by his grandmother during his first decade of life, enabled him to withstand everything that life threw his way. A man of significant physical strength and ability, he was a fourth degree black belt in Shotokan karate and was proud of his ability to outwork most people by sheer strength and determination. Despite physical deterioration during his final years, his zest for life and willingness to do what had to be done never waned. Nor did his devotion to his friends and family, no matter what the personal risk or hardship. He is survived by his sister, Elin Lee of Massachusetts, other family, and many friends. He was predeceased by family members and looked forward to his reunion with them.
John served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War, rising to the rank of commander and surviving combat encounters. After his military service, he spent years in the Merchant Marine, receiving his captain’s license in 1998. He also worked on the Portland waterfront and in private service, serving as a ship’s engineer and sometimes acting as a bookkeeper. Other jobs during the years included dispatcher, shore manager, and stock and toolroom supervisor for a variety of companies. His overwhelming sense of integrity informed his actions at every stage of his life.
Music was a huge part of John’s life. A devotee of classical music, he spent hours composing beautiful pieces, many of them devoted to praise of the Savior he held so dear. Like his father, he installed, repaired, and fixed organ for years, and his skill in all such activities was well known, to the extent that churches from other denominations would have him play at their services. His music is to be donated to St. Dunstan’s church, where he played the organ for years. It is at St. Dunstan’s that his memorial service will be held on July 12 at 1. His ashes will be scattered in the water where he spent so much of his life.