PORTLAND – A few weeks ago, just after George Chambers was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he looked at his nephew with soft and stoic eyes and summed up his life in a few simple words: “It’s been a good 88 years.”

By all accounts, Mr. Chambers had a great life.

He worked for Oakhurst Dairy for 30 years, delivering milk to residents in Cape Elizabeth and South Portland.

His nephew, Carl Chambers of Gorham, said Mr. Chambers would pack the milk truck with ice every morning before leaving on a delivery.

At the time, Oakhurst’s trucks weren’t refrigerated.

“In those days everyone had a metal insulated cooler on the doorstep,” he said. “He loved the job. He loved meeting people. He knew everyone.”

Mr. Chambers left Oakhurst in the late 1970s when it discontinued its home delivery service.

For the next 10 years, he worked as a carpenter at Maine Medical Center in Portland. The job was a perfect fit for Mr. Chambers. He was a skilled carpenter who built most of his own furniture and several boats.

In his early years, he built two camps near Moosehead Lake. One of those camps, on Indian Pond in Chase Stream Township, was built in 1963.

His nephew, who now owns the camp, said nothing gave Mr. Chambers greater joy than the years he spent hunting, fishing and snowmobiling at the camp. His ashes will be scattered at the pond next summer.

“He loved the remoteness of it,” his nephew said.

Reflecting on Mr. Chambers’ last visit there, in the summer of 2010, his nephew said, “He looked around and said he had a lot of good memories there.”

Mr. Chambers lived on Brook Street in Westbrook for 75 years. Most recently, he lived at The Woods at Canco in Portland. He was never married and didn’t have children.

His nephew, who grew up in the house next to him, said he was like a second father.

“I was extremely close to him,” he said. “He was just always there. He helped me do a lot of things. He was a snowmobiler. I’m a snowmobiler and my kids are, too. We’re all outdoorsy. He passed that on to us.”

In his later years, he met Ramona Martin, who was his companion for 20 years.

In addition to his nephew, he leaves a close companion, Helen Mitchell of Portland.

Mr. Chambers was remembered by his nephew on Friday as a strong, stoic and easygoing guy who generously contributed to several causes.

He volunteered at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, teaching visitors how to build small boats. He also volunteered at the Portland Harbor Museum.

For the past 10 years, he worked as an usher at Merrill Auditorium. He was also on the event staff at the Portland Expo and parked cars at Sea Dogs games. He worked 20 to 25 hours a week until recently, when he got sick.

“He was the Energizer bunny in the family,” his nephew said. “He loved (working). He loved people. He got along with everyone.”

A few weeks ago, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His health declined rapidly after that, his nephew said.

“There’s already a hole in my life,” he said. “He was an inspiration to me.”

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