A small group gathered Wednesday afternoon at Pine Grove Cemetery in Falmouth for a graveside service for Charles “Larry” Phillips, a retired master electrician and dedicated family man who died Sunday. He was 94.

Among those attending were his two daughters, Cynthia Doughty of Cape Elizabeth and Susan Howard of Amherst, Mass., along with their spouses and children.

Doughty read The Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, and her husband, Paul Doughty, played the hymn “In the Garden” from his iPod. Howard read the poem “Do not stand at my grave and weep.”

Cynthia Doughty said the clouds began to break and the sun came out just a few hours before the service.

“It was lovely,” she said afterward. “Today was a perfect remembrance of him, really. We could say very personal things about him. It was meaningful in that way. It made me feel closer to him.”

The Reverend Jacob Watson, The Chaplaincy Institute of Maine’s founder and abbot, presided over Wednesday’s service. He met Mr. Phillips and his wife, Mildred, about six years ago while the couple was living at the Gorham House, an assisted living facility in Gorham. She died in 2006, and Watson presided over her service.

The Rev. Watson said it had been an honor to know Mr. Phillips’ family for so many years.

“There’s power in a graveside service because you’re right there outdoors, standing on the earth, and that’s where we leave our loved ones,” he said. “Larry always asked me to say a prayer with him. He was insistent about that. He wouldn’t let me leave without saying a prayer.”

Mr. Phillips grew up in South Portland. He was a master electrician for the former York Electric. He worked for the company for 30 years doing commercial and residential electrical work throughout southern Maine. Doughty said her father was a hardworking guy who took pride in his work and built a solid reputation in the region.

Mr. Phillips and his wife were married for 60 years and raised two children.

Howard remembered her father Wednesday as a dedicated family man who worked hard to provide for his family. She said one of his proudest moments as a father was sending his daughters to college.

“He really made some great sacrifices for us to give us the best life he could,” Howard said after the service. “He was proud of us.”

At Wednesday’s service, Howard shared a story about her father building a cottage on Panther Pond in Raymond with his father in 1928. She said the cottage became a gathering place for the family for many years. There, her father enjoyed boating, fishing, swimming and watching the loons, ducks and other wildlife. In his later years, Mr. Phillips enjoyed gardening, traveling, taking long walks and having picnics by the ocean with his wife.

“They were constant companions,” Howard said. “Their lives revolved around their home, gardens and the cottage. … He felt a terrible sense of loss when she died and had been missing her ever since.”

Mr. Phillips’ health began to decline a few months ago. Most recently, he was living at the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough. Howard said she is grateful that her father didn’t suffer at the end of his life.

“He was looking forward to seeing my mother,” she said. “I’m happy for him that he led such a long and happy life and that he’s with my mom right now, I’m assuming. One doesn’t know. I’d like to think he is.”

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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