UNION – Philip “Buggy” Morine Jr. was a jokester .

He enjoyed flying his ultra-light aircraft and even dared to “steal” his friend’s crop-duster for a short joy ride, said his wife, Donna.

“We were all down to the cottage and we kept saying, ‘Isn’t that your plane going by?’” she said.

Sure enough, when the plane passed lower, family members and friends who were gathered could tell that it was Mr. Morine in his friend’s plane.

“From that moment on, his friend called him ‘Chicken Brain,’” she said Friday, laughing at the memory. “He left a message on the machine saying, ‘We’re really going to miss Chicken Brain.’“

Mr. Morine died Wednesday. He was 66.

He was raised in Union and lived there throughout his life. Until his father’s death, Mr. Morine helped him raise mink, sheep, broiler poultry and cattle, mostly for meat, but also for the wool and fiber from the mink and sheep, his wife said.

At the time, they had the largest mink farm in the state, she said.

The couple raised two daughters and a son. His daughter Tammy Black remembers all the farm chores they had to do in the summer.

“At the time, we didn’t really appreciate it,” she said, remembering how her father always said they would thank him later in life.

“We learned the good, strong work ethic,” said Black, who realizes that it’s the product of the farm chores he gave them.

“We worked hard, but we played hard, too,” she said.

One of Mr. Morine’s favorite places was the family camp on Frye Mountain.

Their children grew up going to camp, his wife said. They would snowmobile in the winter, and they would do a lot of hunting there.

“We spent a lot of time up there,” his wife said.

Many people remember how Mr. Morine had certain signature phrases. Jerry Joly, a close friend and neighbor, remembers him for saying, “It is what it is.”

“He just faced this whole thing that way,” Joly said, referring to Mr. Morine’s battle with lung cancer.

“He put it on the side burner because he had so much to do. He just accepted everything,” his friend said.

“He was bigger than life,” said Jerry Joly’s wife, Noreen Joly.

Jerry Joly said Mr. Morine had a knack for flying low over their house. He would put on an air show flying the ultra-light aircraft.

Sometimes, Mr. Morine would make special deliveries to his friends or drop candy to children’s camps from the plane, he said.

In the evenings, he said, Mr. Morine would stop by the workshop and they would chat about their day. “He was always up at my shop, and me at his.”

He knew when Mr. Morine was on his way by the sound of his four-wheeler rolling up the driveway.

Mr. Morine was a farmer in some capacity for all of his life, and he had a way with animals.

There is still a herd of 11 cattle on the property, said his wife, who hopes to ship off the rest this fall.

Over the years, Mr. Morine also had two pet rabbits, Bugsy I and Bugsy II, which were raised in the house. He took them around town with him.

Mr. Morine was also friendly to wildlife. With the garage door of his workshop open most of the summer, chipmunks would often come inside, Black said.

“He’d put (seed) out in his workshop and chipmunks would come,” she said.

The “pet” chipmunks would let Mr. Morine feed them by hand and even pet them.

“He just enjoyed animals,” his daughter said.


Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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