South China, ME – Harold “Hal” Winters, 73, passed away unexpectedly at Eastern Maine Medical Center on September 2, 2020 following cardiac surgery. He left us prematurely, but peacefully, with his wife and two daughters by his side.\r\n\r\nNamed after his maternal grandfather, Harold was the youngest son born to John Kenneth and Betty Jane Winters. His early school years were spent in Missouri until the family relocated to Massachusetts where he completed middle and high school. Hal attended Massachusetts Bay Community College for one year and served in the Army Reserves/ National Guard. He graduated from Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute in 1971 with an Associate Degree in Applied Science Marine Biology & Oceanography. He pursued his love of environmental sciences at the University of Maine Portland-Gorham (now University of Southern Maine), receiving his Bachelor of Science cum laude degree in 1974.\r\nHal worked briefly at the State of Maine DOT, but his remaining 35-year career was with the Maine Department of Marine Resources. His strong work ethic was evident when he became project leader of a five-year, Kittery to Calais coastal survey to identify pollution sources while working at the Fisheries Research Station in West Boothbay Harbor. He subsequently was promoted to Director of the Industry Services Division and in 1985 was appointed Director of the Bureau of Marine Development, from which he retired in 2005. In 2002, Governor Angus King confirmed his membership in Maine Management Service for excellence in leadership. \r\nHal was always interested in his community, serving as president of a neighborhood association in Freeport in the late 1970s and then as its Road Committee Chairman. At the time of his passing, he had served on the Board of Directors of a landowners’ association at Sebec Lake since 1997 and as its President since 2001. His commitment to both of these organizations speaks yet again to his fairness, sense of community and leadership skills. \r\n\r\nSo ends the typical obituary information. But what about the man, Hal Winters? He was so much more than an honest, hard-working, respected man of integrity and clear values. He was caring, generous, dependable, and supportive; open to listening to others’ opinions and perspectives, while strong in his beliefs and convictions.\r\n\r\nHis childhood love of trains, starting with rides to visit his grandparents in Canada, led to many years in developing detailed HO scale model railroad layouts, the most recent of which now intrigues his grandchildren. This type of hobby requires a great deal of patience, creative talent, and imagination: the same requirements needed for nature photography, which he greatly enjoyed during retirement. Many of his photos have been shared by the Natural Resources Council of Maine on its web site and calendars. And that retirement? Hal took it earlier than planned so that he could provide care to his mom, who had relocated to South China to be near him and her daughter-in-law. \r\n \r\nHal enjoyed travel, golf, gardening, kayaking, fishing, boating, “good” cars, good food (he was a grill master in his own right) and genealogy. In 2019, he was surprised and very pleased to have been “discovered” by Winters relatives in Ireland who were researching the family tree for a reunion and book publication. It had been his hope to go to Ireland and meet these long-lost cousins, but Covid-19 interrupted those plans. \r\n\r\nAlthough he claimed he didn’t have a “bucket list”, Hal was always open to adventure. Travels included trips to Tortola, Alaska, Virgin Gorda, Disneyworld (so much fun as adults!), Canada, Sanibel and Amelia Islands, the Adirondacks, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and most recently, winter breaks to Florida and South Carolina. An annual foliage trip throughout New England was always a special anniversary get-away.\r\n\r\nAs a young family, summer days were spent at the Winters’ camp on Winnipesaukee Lake in NH and lake life was a big part of who Hal was. No surprise, then, that the most favorite get-away was to our summer home on Sebec Lake, which has provided 25 years of wonderful memories. Grampy Hal was happiest when working in the perennial garden, birdwatching, feeding the chippies and red squirrels, and especially teaching his grandkids how to bait a hook and safely remove the fish. He loved hearing their laughter when tubing behind the boat, watching driveway soccer and softball games, snoozing in the hammock together, playing cards, and picking berries. His greatest wish is that they continue to cherish this special place for many years to come, fondly remembering the past, but creating many more of their own new family memories. \r\n \r\nHal is survived by his wife of 29 years; two daughters and sons-in-law; six grandchildren; several cousins, nieces, and nephews. Hal was very proud of the women ‘his girls’ have become, professionally and personally, and he loved watching the grandkids in their school and sports activities. He enjoyed them more every year as their individual personalities have developed and looked forward to being a part of their lives as they grew into adulthood and made career and family choices of their own. \r\n\r\nBesides his parents, Hal was predeceased by an older brother, an uncle and aunt. \r\n\r\nSincere gratitude is extended to the staff at Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft and the coronary care unit at Eastern Maine Medical Center for the caring, professional, and personal attention provided to Hal and his family during such a difficult and emotional time. \r\n\r\nA private celebration of Grampy Hal’s life will be held “upta camp.” Due to current Covid-19 restrictions, a memorial service for extended family, friends and former co-workers will be held at a later date in 2021. \r\n\r\nIn lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to your favorite charity or the following: Natural Resources Council of Maine, 3 Wade Street, Augusta, ME 04330; Keepers of Burnt Island Light, PO Box 738, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538; or South China Community Church, 246 Village Street, South China, ME 04358.\r\n\r\nTo remember Hal in a more personal and private way, please just take some time to appreciate all that Nature has to offer, be it walking along a shore; kayaking on a quiet pond; casting a fishing line upon the water; puttering in a garden; listening to the sounds around you on a woods trail, a golf course or even in your own back yard. Appreciate your alone time for reflection, but also remember to cherish your family and friends. Life is indeed short; our tomorrows are not a promise, but a gift.\r\n\r\nArrangements are in the care of Knowlton & Hewins Funeral Home, One Church Street, Augusta, ME 04330.