HARPSWELL — Arthur Litchfield Jr., retired head chef at Opportunity Farm for Boys and an active volunteer at St. Charles Church in Brunswick who gave generously to the community, died Sunday. He was 77.

Mr. Litchfield, known by most youths as “Litch,” worked in the kitchen at Opportunity Farm in New Gloucester for 25 years. He prepared and cooked three meals a day for about 40 boys and the staff.

He was known for his homemade doughnuts and made dozens for the organization’s annual open house. He also cooked for Opportunity Farm’s annual buffet, which served 150 people and the farm’s board of directors.

Karen Stover, office manager for what is now Opportunity Farm for Boys & Girls, said Mr. Litchfield was a phenomenal cook who had a great connection with the kids.

“He absolutely loved the kids here,” Stover said, noting that some of them worked in the kitchen with him. “The kids felt it was a great privilege.”

In his early years, Mr. Litchfield had his own band. He played guitar and sang at halfway houses in the Portland area and for dances at the farm.

He retired in 1995 and immersed himself in St. Charles Church, where he organized the Lenten public suppers. Proceeds from the event supported six charities in the area.

Dorothy Litchfield, his wife of 55 years, said Mr. Litchfield enjoyed organizing the fundraiser. She said he would serve as many as 450 meals in two hours.

“He enjoyed seeing all the people come out,” she said. “It was a good community-building effort.”

Mr. Litchfield was remembered by his wife as a kind and peaceful person who worked hard to provide a good life for his family.

The couple raised two children, including a foster son who came to live with the Litchfields when he was a boy.

His wife said Mr. Litchfield took an interest in the children’s lives and attended their sporting events.

“He was an easygoing father who did everything he could to give the boys a good home,” she said.

The couple lived in Durham for more than 40 years before moving to Harpswell in 2004. They would have celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary in January. She said they had a good life together.

“I never knew what it was like to feel empty until now,” his wife said. “I’ll miss his companionship.”

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]