Granville I. Smith ’47

CUMBERLAND FORESIDE – Captain Granville Isaac Smith (Pete), 87, a resident of Cumberland Foreside and Township 6 Range 7, Maine, took his final voyage and crossed the bar on September 19, 2015 with his family by his side. Granville was a highly respected and legendary Sea Captain, and Harbor Pilot, known to all on the Portland Waterfront and the great Seas beyond.
Granville was born Oct. 26, 1927, son of Sherman Devere Smith and Gladys Josephine (Laberee) Smith. Upon the death of his father in 1929, his mother, a widow of five children, put Granville at age three on a Greyhound bus alone in Albany, NY. With his name safely pinned to his wool coat, she sent him with instructions to go to Boston, Mass., and then Portland, Maine where his grandparents would pick him up to live with them on a small farm in East Pittston, Maine.
He was educated in a one room schoolhouse, Victoria #9, through the 8th grade where the teacher taught all eight grades, about 18-20 pupils yearly. He attended Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass. Homesick for Maine, he returned to Gardiner where he completed high school in just three years. Next, Granville reported to Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) in Castine where he graduated in 1947 with a B.S. in Nautical Science. After graduation he began his Maritime career as a Deck Officer, swiftly rising to the rank of Captain, in the worldwide tanker trade sailing with Mobil Oil Corporation from 1947 to 1958.
Granville wed the former Mary Louise Marks of Randolph, Maine on June 30, 1951. They were married for 53 years until her death in 2004. Together they raised their four children. Upon accepting a pilot’s position with the Portland Pilots in 1958, the family moved to Cumberland Foreside. The same house they built in1958 is still being enjoyed by their children today. The family now has grown to eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
In September of 1958, Captain Smith started his career as a Portland Harbor Pilot. He safely navigated the inbound and outbound vessels for over 43 years. Captain Smith was President or Treasurer of the Portland Pilots for most of his 43 years of service. Granville was issued the United States Merchant Marine Master’s Unlimited License for any oceans a total of twelve times; a rare feat. The Department of the United States Coast Guard Licensing contacted Captain Smith to request permission to incorporate many of his exam answers, as they were more precise than the answers the Coast Guard exam had previously utilized. In 1969, Captain Smith designed Portland’s first steel Pilot Vessel. The previous method of boarding a ship was via a wooden schooner and dory.
Granville served as the Maine Trustee to the American Pilot’s Association in Washington, DC for many years. He also served as President, Secretary, and/or Treasurer of the Portland Marine Society for over 3 decades and was also active in the Portland Propeller Club. During his professional career Granville’s impact on the Portland waterfront and its development has been unparalleled.
Granville was deeply dedicated and loyal to Maine Maritime Academy as the strong education the Academy provided gave him the opportunity to pursue his maritime dream. He served as President of the Alumni Association, and various Academy and Alumni Boards. In 1974, MMA honored him as an Outstanding Alumnus. In 1997, he was inducted to the Academy’s Wall of Honor. He gifted to MMA to establish the Captain Granville I. Smith Regimental Scholarship Fund (established in 1998) to provide scholarship assistance to deserving midshipmen. Over the years, he has continued to contribute generously to the fund. In 2005, MMA named the Captain Granville I. Smith Bridge Simulator Center in his honor.
Pete deeply enjoyed with his family hunting, fishing, and the outdoors at their retreat, Seboeis Farm, in T-6 R-7 for over 50 years. He was a registered Maine Guide and passionate about the great State of Maine and especially the vast open seas that carry his fellow mariners.
He is survived by and will be greatly missed by his four children, Gary Ford Smith and his wife, Debra, of South Portland, their children, Shannon Elizabeth Richards, Kahsi Ann, Jason James, and Ian Isaac; Mark Russell Smith of Falmouth and his children, Gregory Lawrence and Meaghan Catherine; Shelly Smith Shuka and her husband, John, of Hamilton, Mass., their children, Christopher Andrew, Lindsey Katherine Collens, and Kelsey Lauren; and Holly Dineen Smith and her husband, Jason, of Sanibel Island, Fla., and their children, Zane Joshua and Peyton Clay.
The family is honoring Pete’s request that there be no funeral services.
The family would like to extend their sincerest thanks and heartfelt appreciation to the loving and caring staff at Falmouth By The Sea and Foreside Harbor.
Private interment will be at Seboeis Farm in Penobscot County, Maine. Care for Captain Smith and his family has been entrusted to the Jones, Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home of Portland, Maine. To leave messages of condolence please visit

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:
The Captain Granville I. Smith Regimental Scholarship Fund
Maine Maritime Academy Development Office
Pleasant Street
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