Richard S. Libby ’46
BAR HARBOR – Richard “Dick” S. Libby, 87, died peacefully September 13, 2014, at the Maine Veterans Home in Augusta. He was born on Sept. 30, 1926, in Bar Harbor, a son of Seth E. Libby and Helen (Greeley) Libby.
Raised on Kennebec Street, he spent his youth sailing the waters of Frenchman’s Bay or playing on the docks of his grandparents’ business, beginning what would prove to be a deep and abiding love of the sea. Dick’s childhood cohorts, including the Cough brothers, the Macleod brothers, Robert Gilfillan, Joseph Kirk, and Keith Barnes, remained lifelong friends. He attended the Bar Harbor elementary schools and graduated from Bar Harbor High School in 1944. He received a bachelor’s degree in nautical science in 1946 from the Maine Maritime Academy and, later, a bachelors in economics from the University of Maine in 1957.
Dick sailed as a 2nd mate with American Export Lines for several years on its Europe and N. Africa runs, and, later, with the U.S. Navy on active duty for 3 years aboard the USS Daly, conducting operations off the Korean coast and accompanying the ship on its east-west voyage around the world. He served with the U.S. Naval Reserve until 1970, retiring at the rank of captain. He was awarded the Navy Occupation Service Medal (Europe), the Korean Service Medal with One Star, the United Nations Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. In between stints shipping out, Dick skippered on private yachts and crewed in several ocean races, including the Newport to Bermuda and Marblehead to Halifax races.
After attending Boston University Law School for two years, Dick decided that a career in law was not for him. He then began a land-based career in banking with the First National Bank of Bar Harbor, starting as a loan officer in 1959 and retiring as the vice president of trust services in 1990. In retirement, Dick traveled extensively with his wife, Nancy, doted on his grandchildren, studied Spanish, and cared for his mother-in-law. He also remained active on the ocean, teaching youth sailing, delivering yachts, racing, and continuing a thirty-year tradition of sailing Downeast each fall with his two brothers in-law, and local friends, John Reeves and Bernie Staples.
Dick loved his community and served with or in support of many local organizations including, the Bar Harbor town council and planning board, the Bar Harbor Historical Society, and the Jesup Memorial Library. As President of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, he led the initiative to bring cruise ships to Bar Harbor, culminating in the first visit by the QE2 in 1981, and establishing Bar Harbor as a requisite cruising port-of-call on the East Coast. And as a member of the Mount Desert Island Highway Safety Committee, he vigorously petitioned state and federal government officials for the addition of bike lanes on the state roads of Mount Desert Island and in Acadia National Park. He also served on the MMA Board of Trustees for 13 years, and as president of the MMA Alumni Association for 2 years.
He was a member of the George Edwin Kirk Post No. 25, Tin Can Sailors, the Bar Harbor Historical Society, the Bar Harbor Yacht Club, the 40 Hayseeders, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the Bar Harbor YMCA. He was a 50 member of the Bar Harbor Rotary Club, a 73 year member of the Bar Harbor Congregational Church, and a 32nd Degree Mason and member of the York Rite Body.
He is survived by one son, Seth Libby, and his wife, Simonette, of Bar Harbor; one daughter, Selina L. McGlauflin, and her husband, Keith, of Sidney; a sister, Grace L. McKinlay, and her husband, Edwin, of Barrington Rhode Island; five grandchildren: Marguerite and Beatrix Libby, and Paige, Kai, and Aiden McGlauflin. Dick was predeceased by his loving wife of 42 years, Nancy (Coffin) Libby; a brother, Seth Emerson Libby II; two sisters, Joanne L. Olson, and Jeanette Joy Libby.
A private Masonic service will be held 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, at the Bar Harbor Masonic Hall, followed by a public celebratory visitation at the Bar Harbor Masonic Hall from 6-8:30 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the Bar Harbor Congregational Church, 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, with interment at Ledgelawn Cemetery, Bar Harbor, immediately following. Contributions in Dick’s memory may be made to the MDI Community Sailing Center, 168 Clark Point Road, P.O. Box 116, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679, or The Bar Harbor Food Pantry, 36 Mt Desert St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609. Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald Funeral Home, 1139 Main St., Mt. Desert. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com