LEBANON, NH — Douglas C. Grearson, age 85, passed away peacefully on Sunday February 3rd, 2019, at his daughter’s home in Lebanon, N.H with his wife and family present.
The son of Douglas Grearson and Adaline Fisher Grearson, he was born on September 12, 1933 in Dedham, MA, the first of five children.
Doug served two years as a mechanic in the Navy after which he joined Sikorsky Aircraft. After marrying Arlynne Carroll in Reading, Massachusetts in 1956, they moved to Connecticut and started their family. In 1967 they moved to the Upper Valley, where Doug worked for Split Ball Bearing (now Timken) until his retirement in 1997.
Over the years, he was involved in the Bonnie Lads and Lassies 4-H club and ski patrolling at Ascutney, Roundtop and Whaleback ski areas, which allowed his family to enjoy the activity he’d learned at his aunt and uncle’s Birchmont Inn in North Conway, NH. He also enjoyed other New England activities including raising livestock and making maple syrup.
In addition to Arlynne and his family, the love of Doug’s life was fire departments. He ran away to a nearby fire department while a toddler, and as an adult, continued to search out local departments wherever he traveled. He was a volunteer firefighter in Ansonia and Oxford, CT. After the family’s move to NH, he joined the Meriden Volunteer Fire Department and served as Chief during the 1980s. He was instrumental in creating the Kimball Union Fire Brigade and supported many young firefighters. After his retirement, Doug and Arlynne moved to Maine where he was proud to join Kennebunk Fire Rescue’s Washington Hose Company, where he performed many duties and at one point proudly held the title of “Broom 2.”
Despite health issues beginning several years ago, Doug remained focused on the future. A recent project involved refinishing an old yellow canoe, generously painted fire engine red at Dingee Machine in Cornish, NH, and ready for launching at the family camp in Wolfeboro, NH, where over the years he and Arlynne sailed, canoed, and enjoyed early morning trips with kids and grandkids to Katie’s Kitchen for breakfast followed by a trip to the Yum Yum Shop for warm jelly donuts. Few things made him happier than a game of “Butt-It” with family or friends around the kitchen table.
A devoted husband, parent and grandfather, and an exuberant friend to many, Doug leaves behind his wife Arlynne of 63 years, his son, Douglas (wife Diane Crabtree) of Andover, MA; daughters Faye (husband Ralph Winslow) of Lebanon, NH; Jessie (husband Viren Sapat) of Falmouth, ME, and Merey, (husband Jeff Gaeckle) of Olympia, WA; and six grandchildren: William and Emery Grearson, Emma and Eleanor Sapat, and Colton and Kinley Orr. He was much loved and is survived by his four sisters Susan, Martha, Lynn and Nancy and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.
Doug will be remembered for his optimistic and loving nature, his genuine interest in other people’s lives and stories, and the many ways he sought to support those around him. We will all miss him greatly.
Details regarding a service will be announced later. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor of Doug Grearson to Meriden Volunteer Fire Department or Kennebunk Fire Rescue, Washington Hose Company.