ORONO - William Christopher “Chris” Smith, 68, passed away peacefully at his home in Orono, Maine on January 18, 2021, surrounded by his loving wife, Karin, and his 2 children, Georgia and Dylan. Chris lived life to the fullest with his humor and bravery until the very end despite being diagnosed with Bulbar ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) 2+ years ago.
He was born in Pinehurst, NC in 1952. He pursued sports, especially tennis, along with his passion of fishing and hunting at an early age. He studied at High Point University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he received his Master’s in Art History and Three-Dimensional Design. His focus as a young man was metal sculpture and ceramics.
While growing up, Chris was often referred to as, “Christine with the baby blues” for his sparkling blue eyes. It is with these sparking blue eyes that he was able to charm his way around the world. His life was full of adventure and creative endeavors. Chris was a strong willed, gifted man with many diverse talents as an artist, craftsman, sailor, inventor, chef, business owner, and a deeply loyal individual to his family and friends.
He built the house in which he raised his family. He also established a landscaping business, along with Land & Sea Compost, the first organic compost company serving mid-coast Maine. In his later years, he sailed the high seas as a shipping tanker helmsman and designed and built unique and beautiful furniture. More recently he pursued his artistic talents through photography, and with his wife Karin they actively explored fly fishing adventures in Maine, Colorado, and Montana.
Despite the diagnosis of ALS, Chris did not let it bring him down. The ALS took his voice over a year ago but his humor lived on with the notes he would write and the gestures he would make. If you had the pleasure of knowing him, you would know what that means. He maintained his independence to the very end and was even in his woodworking shop less than a week before the disease took his life.
He is survived by his wife, Karin Rebecca Tilberg; his daughter, Georgia Darby Smith of Chapel Hill, NC; his son, Dylan Townsend Smith, of Union, ME; his siblings, Jane Lester of Jamison, PA, Ben Smith Jr. of Rockingham, NC, Lucy McClung of Chaddsford, PA and Linda Sink of Rockport, ME; many nieces and nephews; stepdaughter, Linnea Tilberg of Boston, MA; along with his first wife and the mother of his children, Anna Sherman Remsen of Rockport, ME.
He was predeceased by his parents, Benjamin Townsend Smith and Lucy Shores Smith of Rockingham, NC.
The family would like to thank the staff at the ALS Association, especially Laurie, who have been tremendously supportive to Chris and Karin over the past two years; and also like to recognize Saint Joseph Hospice, Lynn, Christine, Andrew, Dr. Linda Hermans, Dr. Elijah Stommel for their continuous support.
A celebration of Chris’s life will be held in May at a date and time to be announced. Those who wish to remember Chris in a special way may make gifts in his memory to the New England Chapter of the ALS Association, 10 Ferry Street, Suite 438, Concord, NH 03301. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com