Homer Lawford


Homer R. Lawford, 71, of Bar Harbor passed away unexpectedly at his home on Jan. 3, 2018, joining his soul mate and wife, Marcia, in Heaven with our Lord & Savior. Homer left behind their beloved dog, Dolly, and the children he loved so dearly as his own — Keith, Terri and Jeanie. Homer, known as Buster to many, was born Aug. 6, 1946, in Verona, the son of Georgia Ethel (Gray) Leach, who predeceased him.

Home was known for his striking blue eyes, quick wit, caring heart, charismatic and outspoken personality: that of a true Leo. He had no problem sharing his opinions and joking around with friends and family. He was a self-taught man and a Jack-of-all-trades. There wasn’t much he couldn’t fix and was always willing to do what he could to help others in need.

Homer faced serious health challenges in early childhood, which left him relearning to walk, talk and eat. He was a fighter and a survivor, which he continued to demonstrate in spirit and action throughout his life. He faced everything life threw at him with determination and internal strength.

As a young man, Homer worked at Testa’s restaurant, eventually settling in West Palm Beach, Fla., where he ultimately landed a job with the Palm Beach Habilitation Center. He took on the role of house father for many intellectually and developmentally challenged men in a transitional home. This is where he met the love of his life, Marcia, who took on the role of house mother for the women next door. They married May 29, 1973, packed up the family and their cat, and moved back home to MDI. A year later, he showed his true colors as a devoted husband and father when their daughter was diagnosed with cancer. After working more than a full-time job during the week, he would drive the family to Boston every weekend to visit her.

For 37 years, Homer worked as head of maintenance at the MDI YMCA, where he was loved and respected by the local children who nicknamed him The Cookie Monster. Outside of work hours, Homer contributed his time and skills to many community events connected to the YMCA and YWCA. After retiring in 2010, he stayed busy with caretaking and snow plowing until his final days. He enjoyed attending St. Saviour’s Church and visiting with friends about town, patronizing some of the local eateries. Homer was well known by several generations of residents from his Bar Harbor community and beyond. He was a lifelong good friend to many.

Homer, an avid hunter and fisherman, found inner peace when surrounded by nature. He found pleasure with his woodworking projects and the cherished gifts he make for his loved ones. Surrounded by three loving generations, Homer enjoyed his time with family, especially the cookouts and the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve celebrations at his home. Homer took many photos to remember and to cherish his time with family and friends through the years. He was a proud dad, grampy and great-grampy.

Homer and Marcia traveled to Coulterville and Oak Dale, Ill., yearly to visit her extensive family and the small rural towns where they lived. He felt welcomed with a strong sense of belonging. He always said this was his second home and place of retirement.

In addition to his wife and mother, Homer was predeceased by sister Barbara Jean Boshaine and spouse, Paul, grandparents Samuel and Ethel Gray, aunt Evelyn Leach, uncles Fairfield Gray and spouse Althea, and Edward Gray and spouse Barbara, cousin Barbara “Tootie” Gray, nephew Carl, niece Vanessa and granddaughter Jennifer.

In addition to his children Keith Poirier and spouse Barbara, of Florida, Terri Zabala of Bar Harbor and Jeanette (Jeanie) Howie and spouse Kenneth of Bar Harbor. Homer is survived by his grandchildren Cori, Andrea, Darci, Alicia, David, Brittany, Joshua, Aaron, Timothy, Keegan, Aimee and Anthony, and 14 great-grandchildren.

Homer’s surviving siblings include Francis Love of New Jersey, Jack Lawford and spouse Marianne of Illinois, Ernest Lawford of Texas, Winnifred Phillips of Florida and Robert Lawford and spouse Faith of Bar Harbor. Also many nieces and nephews. He was very close with cousins Janice Brewer and Patricia Staples.

In addition to family, Homer had many close, dear friends whom he considered family, including but not limited to, Lenny, Steve, Honey, Ed and Pat, Don and Pat, PJ, Bill and Sally, Sharon, Teresa and Michael.

Per Homer’s wishes, a memorial service, officiated by Mother Kathleen Killiam and Father Tim Fleck will be held Feb. 3, 2018, at 3 p.m., at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church, 41, Mount Desert St., Bar Harbor. Informal reception to follow at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Homer’s name to St. Saviour’s Church, The YWCA at 36 Mount Desert St., The Parish House via Local Solution, c/o Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, P.O. Box 400, Bar Harbor, ME. 04609 and the YMCA at 21 Park St.

Know when to pay your respects.