PORTLAND – One way or another, Raymond Pinkerton spent most of his life in service to others.

He served 16 years with the Coast Guard and another 23 with the Postal Service before retiring in 1995. Outside his work, Pinkerton chose to give back to his community in his spare time.

He was a communicant of St. Joseph’s Church, a member of the Knights of Columbus, a life member of the Disabled American Veterans and a former Boy Scout leader for 17 years with Troop 93.

”Boy Scouts was something I did, and he got involved because of me. But he stayed involved after I left. He was a real giving man,” said his son, Peter Pinkerton of West Gray.

”Dad was a very generous man. He loved people. He loved being around people, and he was naturally gifted with many talents and loved being able to share those talents. If he saw somebody who needed help, he was always the first to jump right in.”

If a neighbor needed help with a sagging porch, Pinkerton would come over with his carpentry tools and spend several hours trying to make things right. If a friend needed a ride to the grocery store, Pinkerton stepped up, his son said.

”My dad was a quiet man, and he was a sensitive man. He wasn’t boastful. He wanted his actions to speak themselves.”

Raymond Everett Pinkerton, 75, of Portland died Thursday at his home with his family present. He died on his birthday.

Born in Liverpool, Ohio, he married Sheila A. McCaffrey at St. Joseph’s Church in Portland.

Even his marriage was an exercise in community service. The couple were to be wed on March 5, 1957. But Pinkerton, then serving with the Coast Guard, was called to duty on an ice-patrol cutter. The couple adjusted their wedding plans, and were married March 4 instead. Thursday would have been their 53rd anniversary.

They made their lives in Portland, raising a family and putting down roots in the community.

In retirement, Pinkerton and his wife enjoyed camping and traveling around the country. The camping bug began when the family was young and growing, Peter Pinkerton said.

”We started out with a tent when I was a little kid. It was a little 8-by-10 foot tent. We worked up to a pop-up trailer and a tow-trailer, and then after all the kids were out of the house, they got a motor home and went up and down the East Coast. They did that for many years, and they had a lot of fun.”

Peter Pinkerton said his father was a stellar storyteller. He wasn’t a jokester per se, but he could spin a yarn. All of his father’s stories had a point — and a payoff.

”I always sat there waiting for the inevitable punch line. Half the time you knew what it would be because you’d heard it 20 times before, but his delivery and his punch line were just perfect. I miss that so much.”


Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

[email protected]


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