The Rev. G. Richard Mountfort Jr., an accomplished trumpet player and devoted pastor who served at numerous churches throughout Maine and New Hampshire, including Cousins Island Chapel, died Monday. He was 92.
Mountfort served more than 60 years as a minister. He served at churches throughout Maine including York Street Baptist Church in York and Turner Village Church in Turner. In New Hampshire, he served at Evangelical Baptist Church in Laconia and Wentworth Baptist Church in Wentworth. There, he was also director of Higher Ground Children’s Camp for many years.
His niece, Marie Riddle of Portland, said he felt a calling to enter the ministry in his early 20s. At the time, Mountfort was a talented trumpet player. She said he joined a group of young men who formed the Kennebec Valley Gospel Team and traveled to different churches and youth camps to perform and share spiritual messages. The experience inspired a lifelong devotion of service to others. Riddle said her uncle loved working with young people.
“He was so down to earth,” she said. “They would sit with him and tell jokes and eat ice cream. That’s what I remember about him. That’s what we did together.”
Mountfort retired in 1978 and moved permanently to Cousins Island. He summered there throughout his life. He regularly served as guest pastor at Cousins Island Chapel, where he attended services as a boy. He was known to play the trumpet during services and for special events. Carey Trimble, a volunteer at the church, said he was a respected minister and well-liked by everyone.
“He just did a good job of ministering with his sermons. They were down to earth and easy to understand and follow. He was a very likable guy. His family goes way back here on the island.”
Mildred Kenney, of Yarmouth, said fondly of Mountfort, “He was an island friend.”
He was a loving husband to Esther Mountfort, his wife for 27 years. He was also a father to eight children and four step-children.
Riddle said her uncle loved watching the Red Sox and hosting family gatherings at his home on Cousins Island. He also enjoyed fishing and lobstering.
“He was quite a character,” Riddle said.
The Mountforts were living at Seaside Rehabilitation in Portland. Riddle expressed gratitude that her uncle and aunt could spent his last days together.
“It meant the world to him,” Riddle said. “They sat hand and hand. Everyone said they looked like they were still on their honeymoon. …They had a good life. A lot of people will be missing him.”