GEORGE N. DEMAS
The extra-large heart and powerful lungs of George N. Demas, aka “the boy from away,” stopped on Feb. 5, 2019. We are all the better for knowing him, and he will be massively missed.
He was born George Nicholas Demas on May 20, 1932, in Bellaire, Ohio, to Nicholas and Esther (Wright) Demas. He grew up in Bellaire, excelling in sports and music, and went on to Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio.
There, he continued to pursue his love of sports and music, particularly a capella singing. His college career was followed by a stint in the Army, a brief teaching job in Minnesota and his marriage to his college sweetheart, Marilyn Bixler. In 1960, a teaching position at the Bar Harbor High School brought him to Maine. Moving to the new school with the 1969 high school consolidation, he remained at MDIHS until his retirement in 1988.
In his long career at the high school, he will be remembered by all his students but especially his students in the drama department. They were inspired by his creativity and enthusiasm and he became a role model, mentor and friend. His career in the drama department was long and illustrious with many accolades for one-act drama competitions and yearly musicals. In 1992, he was deeply touched when the auditorium was christened the Higgins/Demas Theater honoring himself and his colleague, Joyce Higgins.
Never one to do just one thing at a time, he also spent summers in his early Bar Harbor years working at the ferry terminal, building a home in Somesville, managing the Jordan Pond House and eventually opening his own restaurant with his partner Janet Milne. George’s Restaurant was different from the get go — serving up Greek cuisine on Thursday nights. People loved it and the restaurant prospered for 23 years until 2000 with George at the helm and five more years under Chris and Adeena Fisher.
But full-time retirement did not suit George and he and his partner Gay Lindenmeyer moved to Palm Coast, Fla., for the winters beginning in 2003 until 2016. He and Gay enjoyed maintaining extensive gardens, designed by George at their homes in both Florida and Bar Harbor. George built his final home in 2013 while continuing to maintain a house he and Gay built in 1996 as a summer rental.
A stroke in 2017 took the starch out of him, but he bravely tried to find meaning in his altered universe though he didn’t much like it when he couldn’t use his chainsaw, drive his GTI or dig in the garden. Now he is somewhere doing all those things and more…
George is survived by his daughter, Stephanie Anne Demas of Biddeford; his sister, Margaret Clark of Bellvue, Ohio; his loving, steadfast partner in life, Gay Ann Lindenmeyer, her daughter Aimee Eppig Lane, husband James and son Atticus Henry, two nieces, a nephew and two cousins. In addition to his parents George was predeceased by a sister, Kate Cochrane, and former wife, Marilyn Bixler Demas.
There will be a celebratory gathering at the Higgins/Demas Theater on May 18, 2019, honoring his life.
Those wishing to honor George’s life and legacy to the community may send contributions to The Black Rose Theater Renovation Project at MDIHS. (Mount Desert Island High School, P.O. Box 180, Mount Desert, ME 04660).