ROCKLAND - William Joseph Buckminster, 87, died Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at the Knox Center for Long Term Care.
Born in Chester, Pennsylvania, June 25, 1922, he was the son of Joseph and Ruth Post Buckminster. He moved to Owls Head with his parents when just a few months old. When he was six, his father died in a tragic house fire, and the family lost everything. They moved into a house belonging to his great aunt.
Graduating from Rockland High School in 1940, he was a long distance runner and played on the ice hockey team.
He trained as a welder at Bath Iron Works and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, becoming a Certified Pipe Welder. He then transferred to the Walsh Kaiser Shipyard in Providence, Rhode Island, building Liberty ships.
In December, 1943, he joined the US Navy, and qualified for Submarine Service. He served as a torpedoman at Pearl Harbor until his discharge in January, 1946.
After his return he met and married Helen L. Wormwood in 1946 and returned to Owls Head, living in the house where he grew up.
Bill worked as a fish cutter in the heyday of the fishing industry in the Rockland area, and had a fish route that went door to door in Knox, Waldo, and Lincoln counties for many years. During this time he and his wife began buying antiques and opened the Owls Head Antique Shop, which they operated until Helen died in 1976.
After his wife's death, Bill started playing pool again, which he had played as a young man traveling all over the state. An accomplished pool player he won many tournaments, and was selected by the Miller Brewing Company to play in a tournament in Las Vegas. Bill had two passions, playing pool and ice hockey. He played in the men's hockey league until he was in his late 60s.
In the last few years he made his home at the Rankin Center in Rockland, where he still collected antiques until he was hospitalized and resided at the Knox Center until his death.
Bill was predeceased by his parents, his wife, sister, Margery P. Ripley and nephew, Brad Jones. He is survived by his sister, Josephine B. Jones and her husband Robert of Albuquerque, New Mexico; niece Anne Tooley of Camden, nephews, Fred E. Ripley, Sr. and his wife, Deanna of St. George, Christopher Jones of Albuquerque, NM, and Eric Jones of Orlando, Florida.
Services will be held at a later date. Donations may be made to the Mussel Ridge Historical Society, P. O. Box One, Owl's Head, ME 04854.
Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.