BANGOR - Lawrence E. Winchester, Jr. passed away on Wednesday, July 4th, 2018, after declining health surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Bangor, Maine on September 22, 1951, son of Lawrence E. Winchester, Sr. and Virginia (Higgins) Winchester.
Larry attended St. Mary’s Catholic School, John Bapst High School and graduated from Bangor High School in 1969. Larry attended Eastern Maine Vocational Technical Institute, now EMCC, and graduated with an associate’s degree in automotive technology in 1971. In July 1971, Larry enlisted in the Army 112th Medical Company Air Ambulance (Maine Air National Guard). He was honorably discharged in 1977. Larry worked with his father (Windy) in their petroleum contracting business from 1971 to 1985. Due to his father’s failing health, Larry took over the family business and continued to run it until May 1992. Larry was one of the founding members of the original Maine Search and Rescue Dogs (MESARD). He volunteered and trained with the Maine Warden Service and certified 3 of his own German Shepherd’s per Maine qualifications. Larry participated in several searches throughout New England for eight years. During this time, he expanded his business in the mid 80’s. The State of Maine decided that the existing regulatory agency, Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office, that at that time would oversee underground petroleum tank installations and removals was more involved than the personnel could handle. At this same time the EPA was coming into existence and the State of Maine formed the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). They would become the regulatory agency that would regulate the installation and removal as well as cleanup of contaminated sites. While this agency was being formed they requested 6 existing reliable petroleum contractors from Maine to provide input on what and how to approach questions and concerns regarding issues. Larry was 1 of 6 requested to meet with them and after several meetings with Maine DEP personnel, the State decided in May 1986 that anyone involved with any work with storage tanks and systems become licensed. The State formed the regulatory board, BUSTI, and in 1986 had contractors take and pass a written test. Maine was one of the first states in the United States to do this. Larry continued to expand his business to 6 employees and worked throughout the State of Maine performing installs and repairs at schools, churches, municipal facilities, military installations, gasoline service stations and oil distributors. He worked close with Maine DEP troubleshooting and testing questionable existing tank systems. In 1992, Larry dissolved his business and was offered a job with Webber Oil Company. He retired from Webber in 2004. Larry was appointed by the governor and served on the BUSTI board as a volunteer for 7 years representing the licensed installers. He later worked for the BIA Fuel Department in Bangor until his retirement. He decided he wasn’t ready to fully retire so he went to work part time for Darling’s Auto Sales transporting vehicles.
His family would like to share that Larry was an active member with the Holden community, often coaching and supporting his children’s sports teams when they were in school.
Larry was predeceased by his father, Lawrence E. Winchester, Sr. He is survived by his mother, Virginia E. (Higgins) Winchester; his loving and caring wife, Theresa Winchester; his son, Christopher P. Winchester and wife, Jessica, and grandchildren, Ethan and Emma of Sanford; his daughter, Kimberly W. Williamson and husband, Benjamin, and granddaughter, Charlotte of Brunswick; his sister, Patricia Reed and her husband, Dale of Orrington, his nephew Donald Reed and his wife, Libby, and their son, Samuel of North Yarmouth; his stepson, Brian Lee and his wife, Andrea of Bangor.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at Davita’s Boyd Dialysis for all their help, care and compassion. Furthermore, they would also like to thank the palliative care Larry received at Eastern Maine Medical Center and to thank the wonderful nurses on the third floor at Grant Tower.
Relatives and friends are welcome to call 10-11 a.m., Saturday, July 21, 2018, at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center Street, Bangor, where a memorial service to honor Larry’s life will be held 11 a.m., Saturday, with Rev. Grace Bartlett, officiating. Private interment will be in Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor. Those who wish to remember Larry in a special way may make gifts in his memory to the Scleroderma Foundation, 300 Rosewood Drive, Suite 105, Danvers, MA, 01923-1389. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com