Sunday, April 20, 2014
WOOLWICH — Being an elected official wasn't always easy for Crispin Connery, but he felt it was a privilege to serve his community.
''He was the consummate outsider,'' said his wife, Nancy Connery. ''But he had a deep affection for this town.''
As Mr. Connery immersed himself in local and county government, he always made a point to hold the boards he sat on accountable and to ensure their work was open to the public, his wife said.
Mr. Connery died Dec. 23 at the age of 60.
Although he was born in New York, the summers he spent in Maine while growing up made an impression on him. His wife said he moved to Woolwich as soon as he was old enough.
''He loved nature and loved being outside,'' she said.
She said he used to go bird hunting but gave up the sport when he saw the bird population decreasing.
He also enjoyed long walks in the woods with his dogs. His son, Cabot Connery, said the family had three dogs at one point; most of the family dogs were standard poodles.
''He always liked quirky attitudes in dogs,'' his son said. Abigail was Mr. Connery's favorite, and Jacques was by his side when he died.
Nancy Connery said he also enjoyed being on the water. His son said he and his father spent a lot of time motoring on Mr. Connery's boat, Conte Grande.
''We could enjoy each other's company without saying very much,'' Cabot Connery said of their strong bond.
His family steered him toward a career in local politics.
''There was a real sense of public obligation,'' Nancy Connery said. ''To do right and to add good. Crispin felt very strongly about that.''
He was first elected to the Woolwich Board of Selectmen in 1982. He met Sylvia Carlton, already an elected official, during his first term. Carlton said when Mr. Connery started, the town asked selectmen to reassess property values in addition to their other duties. While it was a lot of work, she said, Mr. Connery was willing to take on the task.
''He was game for anything. If you had a request, he was ready to go,'' Carlton said.
He served several terms and was board chairman from 1994 to 2000. After stepping down, Mr. Connery served as a Sagadahoc County commissioner until his retirement in 2008.
''He started at a point when the county systems were not as robust,'' his wife said. ''With a fair degree of struggle, they've put in place a professional office.''
Cabot Connery said that while he didn't follow in his father's political footsteps, he developed an appreciation for government and news from his father.
''I realized what I really learned from him is to be a good person,'' Cabot Connery said. ''To be someone who cares, who can take a cause that is important and stick with it to make a difference, not necessarily to improve your self-image, but to just help the common good, society and people around you.''
Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:
Each day the newsroom selects one obituary and seeks to learn more about the life of a person who has lived and worked in Maine. We look for a person who has made a mark on the community or the person's family and friends in lasting ways.