Laurence “Larry” Granger McGee died peacefully at his home in Shrewsbury, Mass., on March 14, 2022. Born Dec. 31, 1936, raised in Randolph, Vt., the third of five children to Eugene L. and Frances Thomas McGee, Larry graduated from Randolph Union High School in 1954.
He served four years in the U.S. Navy as gunner’s mate aboard a ship patrolling Southeast Asia. Nicknamed “Laurie” by his parents and siblings, Larry tattooed this affectionate moniker on his arm during military service. Following Navy service, he attended Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vt., with aid from the GI Bill, graduating in 1962 with a BS in mathematics. During his college years, he married Barbara Gill and their first son Mark was born. After college, Larry taught high school math at Lyndon Institute, worked summers at Vermont Tap & Die, and a second son, Matthew, was born.
In 1966, Larry and family moved to San Diego, Calif., where he pursued a graduate degree in educational counseling at San Diego State University. Larry and Barbara divorced during this West Coast sojourn. Larry met and in 1967 married Maine native Marcia Savage and adopted her daughter Chessell. In 1969, Larry, Marcia and Chessell moved to Mount Desert Island, where Larry began a series of entrepreneurial ventures, the first being the Harbor Market grocery store and apartments located in downtown Bar Harbor. During the Harbor Market years, a son, Samuel, was born.
In 1973, Larry and Marcia sold Harbor Market, moved to Lamoine, and Larry established the Bargain Barn in Trenton with business partner Sabin Hutchins. During the summer of ’76, the McGees temporarily relocated to Hyannis, Mass., where Larry established a gift store called the Shell Shop catering to Cape Cod’s summer tourists. In the fall of 1976, Larry took a position as regional manager for the Maine Job Service, working out of their Rockland, Machias and Ellsworth offices.
In 1980, the McGees moved from Lamoine to Marcia’s hometown of Northeast Harbor, where they restored her childhood home at Asticou Way. Several summers during the ’70s and early ’80s were also spent living at their Northeast Harbor shorefront camp, the “Boathouse.” Following the Blizzard of ’78, Larry, with the help of father-in-law Dick Savage and Seal Harbor carpenter Bill Higgins, rebuilt the severely storm-damaged boathouse.
In 1981, Larry left the Job Service and became general manager of Rappaport Auto in Bangor. In 1984, Larry and Marcia divorced. Larry relocated to Massachusetts, where he and his elder brother Harold “Tom” McGee owned and operated two McGee’s Exxon service stations located on each side of Route 9 in Southborough until retirement in the mid-1990s. In 1998, Larry married Leta Brewer of Shrewsbury, Mass., and was welcomed into her extended family. Larry and Leta spent many summers in her native home and childhood house located in East Boothbay.
Larry was predeceased by his parents, Gene and Frances; his brother Harold “Tom” McGee; and his spouses Barbara Moyer, Marcia Savage and Leta Brewer McGee. He is survived by his sisters Marilyn Webler of Virginia, Patti Hersey and Nancy Lefebvre of Vermont; son Mark McGee (Cindy) of Colorado; son Matthew McGee (Michelle) of California; daughter Chessell McGee (Rob Smith); son Sam McGee (Jen Judd-McGee) of Maine; stepdaughter Donna Maynard (Stephen); stepson Kevin Dagle of Massachusetts; stepdaughter Diane Haddad (John) of Maine; and five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Per Larry’s wishes, no memorial service will be held. Folks can celebrate his life by growing a garden, taking time to read a good book, trout fishing along a stream in springtime, being thrifty but not cheap, savoring a home-cooked meal with family and friends, ice skating in the winter, playing cribbage with friends and eating Necco wafers while solving the New York Times crossword.