Donald Bailey Grinnell of Washington passed away April 20, 2018, at Windward Gardens in Camden. The second youngest of seven siblings, he was born in Washington on Oct. 11, 1929, to Earl and Anna (Fisher) Grinnell. He attended Hodge School in Washington and graduated from Union High School in 1947.
Don’s life can be summarized by four “F’s” - family, farm, fire department and fair. A devoted husband and father, he married Lorraine Lee on Oct. 31, 1948. They raised three children and enjoyed 65 wonderful years together until her death in September 2013.
In 1952 Dad and Mom purchased a 300-acre farm in Washington where he remodeled the barn, had a herd of dairy cattle, cut hay and raised factory squash while continuing to work at Payson’s Farm Machinery in Union. Upon loss of the farmhouse and barn in a May 1964 fire, Dad cut logs, assisted in sawing and planing them at a local sawmill, and then built a new family home. In 1975 Dad opened his own business, Grinnell’s Sales and Service, selling Bolens tractors and Partner chainsaws. He was a talented man who could fix almost anything. Customers will remember him working at his bench with his pipe clenched in his teeth.
Dad’s non-family passion was Washington Fire Department, where he was a 55-year member and served as chief for 16 years. He still ran the engine, drafting water from rural water supply locations into his late 70s. He was instrumental in getting a new fire station planned and built and saw the department grow from two pieces of apparatus to six. He devoted countless hours keeping the equipment tuned and running at peak performance.
From the time he was a teenager, Dad worked together with his older brother “Jim” cutting firewood, logs and Christmas trees, raising steers and oxen, putting up hay and harvesting factory squash. The highlight was overseeing the horse- and oxen-pulling at Union Fair. For 39 years, Jim ran the ring while Dad kept the books and was public announcer. Together, it was their “annual vacation.”
Dad had a great knowledge of town history and was a long-time member of Washington Historical Society. He compiled the history of town sawmills and wrote a chapter on the subject for the 1976 town history book.
Don is survived by three children, Donald L. Grinnell and his wife Elizabeth of Washington, Sandra A. Grinnell and her life partner Bonny Tubbs of Maitland, Florida, and Jeffrey E. Grinnell and his wife Stephanie, also of Washington. There are five grandchildren, Katherine Grinnell, Emily Grinnell, Michael Prescott, Susanna Prescott and Elizabeth Prescott. He is also survived by his brother Gordon Grinnell and wife Jeanette of Boothbay Harbor, along with numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.
The family invites you to remember Don at Hall Funeral Home in Waldoboro, where visiting hours will be held Friday, April 27, 5 to 7 p.m. The Firefighter “Last Call” ceremony will be performed at 6 p.m. The funeral service will be conducted at Hall Funeral Home on Saturday, April 28, at 1 p.m., with Pastor Timothy Lewis presiding. Interment will be at Davis-Daggett Cemetery, Waldoboro Road, Washington, with a firefighter burial ceremony. Firefighters are encouraged to wear their uniform to the services. A time of remembrance and fellowship will immediately follow at Washington Fire Department, 40 Old Union Road, Washington. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to Washington Fire Department. P.O. Box 244, Washington, ME 04574. Hall’s of Waldoboro has care of the arrangements. To extend online condolences go to www.hallfuneralhomes.com
To send flowers to the family of Donald Grinnell, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.