GORHAM – For Stuart Spink, who died Wednesday at age 53, being around family was as natural as the flowers encircling the home he shared with his father.

Mr. Spink reveled in family get-togethers, beach parties, pig roasts and holiday gatherings.

He enjoyed cooking meals for them as well, whether it was roasting the pig with his brother Artie or preparing the turkey or ham for the major holidays, said Richard Spink of Gorham, one of four brothers.

“He usually took care of the barbecues we had, the Thanksgiving dinners. He was really into the holidays as far as decorating,” Richard Spink said.

Mr. Spink was no angel, and he liked to have a good time. But he also was a caring person.

“He was kind of like a big kid, a big kid at heart,” Richard Spink said.

“He was a very friendly person with everybody,” his brother said.

“He was always willing to help. He was there whenever you asked him to do anything.”

Mr. Spink was there in the early 1980s after his mother suffered a stroke.

He had stayed at home, living with his parents, and started caring for his mother.

“It was a difficult time there,” Richard Spink said. “She was paralyzed on one side. It was a constant day-by-day thing.”

Their mother died in 1998, and Mr. Spink lived with his father from then on.

Mr. Spink was an outdoorsman, working for landscapers and loggers.

He enjoyed deer hunting and as a young man would go fishing at friends’ camps in the Moosehead Lake region, said his father, Arthur Spink Jr.

He was at work in the woods last year when he hurt his back. Aches and pains were nothing new in a life of hard work, but this time the injury didn’t heal, his father said. He took his son to the doctor.

Scans showed that Mr. Spink, who was a smoker, had lung cancer that had spread to his bones, his father said. Months of painful chemotherapy and radiation followed.

His father recalled a spirited man, who had been a handful when he was young.

“He did everything his way. You couldn’t tell him nothing,” his father said. “He was a typical kid who knew everything.”

Mr. Spink eventually learned about planting and flowers, and as a landscaper he took pride in his own yard’s appearance.

“Even the neighbors would come over and remark on how good he was doing, and he would go help them,” said Kenneth Spink, a brother who lives in Windham.

When people were having new plantings put in, he would often salvage the flowers they no longer wanted, his father said.

“He had flowers all over the place,” his father said, describing the home in Gorham where the two of them lived.

“Flowers all the way around they practically surround the house.”

“It’s gone all to pieces now,” his father said. “He couldn’t take care of it.”

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Dolby Funeral Chapel on River Road in Windham. Friends and relatives will gather with the family during the preceding hour.

 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]