OWLS HEAD – Douglas William Crute, 94, passed away peacefully on Saturday October 2, 2021 at Quarry Hill in Camden.
Born August 27, 1927 in Cushing, he was the son of Frank Sr. and Ina Creamer Crute. He was educated locally by attending Cushing and Thomaston High School.
After leaving Cushing and launching into the world, he moved to California, where he married and had two sons, Doug Jr. and Steve.
In 1976, he married Virginia Saastamoinen from Thomaston. He acquired two stepdaughters, Kristi and Karyl. Together, he and Virginia moved to Richmond, California, where they lived until Doug retired in 1990. After his retirement, the couple returned to their beloved Maine.
As a young man, Doug began his long maritime career, attending the Maritime Training School in Sheepshead Bay, NY, in 1944. Over the years he sailed many lines including the American Hawaiian, the Military Sea Coastwise Line Transportation, the Pacific Far East Line and Standard Oil. , to only cite a few. From 1944 to 1966, he sailed for the Union of Seamen of the Pacific and Pacific Maritime Association.
Called up for active duty, Doug served from 1954 to 1956 as a Private First Class in the Army. He completed his basic training at Fort Dix, NJ, and completed his stint at Fort Eustis, Virginia.
Returning to civilian service, he worked for over 20 years for Crowley Maritime. During this time, he held several positions for the Inland Boatman’s Union, including sales agent and regional manager.
Retiring to Maine, Doug continued his work on the water, replacing whenever he could for the Maine State Ferry Service as a deckhand and able-bodied seaman.
Doug loved to travel and had many stories to tell. He has visited all the states of the United States and has toured the world several times.
One of his biggest stories was at the age of 18, he survived a shipwreck. He spoke about the army transport vessel which was swept away by a storm and struck a rock pinnacle off a small island east of Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians. Most of the ship’s life rafts and boats were washed out by sea. The two lifeboats there were loaded with 35 men. The other 18 crew members, including Doug, remained in the wheelhouse. Through the efforts of the army transport and a coast guard ship, all of the crew were rescued, including everyone in the two lifeboats.
Still active in the communities in which he has lived, Doug has been a member of the Rockland Lodge of Elks, the Apostle of the Sea Men’s Group in San Francisco, the Masons in San Francisco, the Kora Temple in Lewiston, the Thomaston American Legion and the Scottish Rites. .
He was predeceased by his parents, Frank Sr. and Ina Crute; four brothers, Kenneth Crute, Harvey Crute, Frank Crute Jr., Donald Crute; one sister, Dorothy Snapp; his wife, Virginia Saastamoinen Crute, and daughter-in-law Kristi Dugas; Douglas is survived by his sons, Douglas Crute Jr. of California and Steven Crute of Nevada; his sister Ramona Ryckman of Cushing; her stepdaughter Karyl Breen and her husband, Daniel, of Thomaston; grandsons Matthew Breen and his wife, Elizabeth, of South Thomaston, Adam Dugas of Rockport; granddaughter Katherine Breen of Thomaston; and four great-grandchildren, Bailey, Olivia and Tyler Breen of South Thomaston and Tiernan Dugas of South Thomaston.
A Celebration of Cemetery Life will take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday, October 14 at the Village Cemetery, Erin Street, Thomaston.
To share a memory or condolences with Doug’s family, visit their Book of Memories at bchfh.com. Arrangements are with Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, Rockland.