KENNEBUNK – He was a respected businessman who owned and operated Marlowe J. LeBarge Plumbing and Heating in Kennebunk for more than 60 years and volunteered for dozens of town boards and nonprofit service organizations, including the Kennebunk Fire Department for over 50 years.

“He was proud of the community and he believed in giving back,” his daughter Elizabeth Ames-Fitzgerald of Kennebunkport said of her father. “He was glad that he was able to make a difference.”

Mr. LeBarge died early Monday at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough. He was 84.

Mr. LeBarge lived in Kennebunk his whole life. He graduated from Kennebunk High School in 1945, then joined the Navy and served during World War II.

After the war, he worked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as a fireman. On his days off, he joined his father in the family plumbing business.

His father, John LeBarge, was a first generation plumber. Mr. Le- Barge eventually took over his father’s business and operated it for over 60 years.

His son Jonathan LeBarge joined him in the family business in 1982. He then took it over when his father retired about five years ago.

Ames-Fitzgerald said her father had a successful career and was well-respected by his clients. In recent years, LeBarge kept a toolbox in his trunk in case he got a call for service.

Mr. LeBarge was active in the community. He served on the school board and zoning board of appeals for many years.

He was a longtime member and past-president of the Kennebunk Rotary Club. He achieved perfect attendance for 50 years and was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow.

Mr. LeBarge was also a dedicated firefighter and ambulance driver for the Kennebunk Fire Department for over 50 years.

He had a passion for golf and was a longtime member of Cape Arundel Golf Club in Kennebunkport. His daughter talked about riding in the golf cart with him during tournaments. She said he played nearly every day since age 50.

He was a loving husband to his wife, Judith LeBarge, and loving father to their five children. The couple would have celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary in October.

“He was a real family man. He always put his family first,” Ames-Fitzgerald said.

She recalled a vivid memory of her parents going out at night to find her a bull frog for a frog race at her summer camp the following day.

Mr. LeBarge also loved deer hunting and striper and smelt fishing. His daughter said he enjoyed going to his hunting camp in Bethel with family and friends.

He also had a passion for food. He and his wife went out to breakfast nearly every morning.

“He loved to eat,” his daughter said. “He always wanted to know where the next meal was going to be.”

 

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

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