CAPE ELIZABETH – Milton Farnsworth, a former tugboat captain, who worked for Commercial Welding in South Portland and was instrumental in building what is now South Port Marine, died on Thursday. He was 93.

Mr. Farnsworth was remembered by his family and friends on Friday as an intelligent, innovative and hardworking guy, who was well-respected in the marine industry.

Mr. Farnsworth worked for Commercial Welding for 17 years. There, he designed and built the hydraulic dredging equipment used to develop South Port Marine, formerly known as Marine East. He also built the marina’s steel seawalls and modified its travel lift.

Kip Reynolds, an owner of South Port Marine, said the material Mr. Farnsworth dredged from the marina was used to develop the land for the condos near South Port. Reynolds said original shoreline was located at The Snow Squall Restaurant.

“Milt was a very, very creative individual and highly respected by a lot of people,” he said.

Mr. Farnsworth’s path to success began when he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps at Fort Williams.

He received his pilot’s license in 1939 and became a pilot for the Civil Air Patrol.

In 1943, he enlisted in the Navy and served during World War II. He was a member of the Seabees, the Navy’s construction battalion.

Following his discharge, Mr. Farnsworth held a variety of jobs. He worked a short stint as a lobsterman and as captain of a 112-foot seagoing tug.

His obituary said he did hard-hat and scuba diving for underwater demolition and rescued several men from the sea.

He was a loving husband to Peggy Farnsworth, his wife for 32 years. The couple got married in 1980. It was his third marriage. It was her second.

On Friday, his wife reminisced about the life they built together. “It was unbelievable,” she said. “My life started when I met him He was a dynamic man. He was so strong and so wonderful to my children.”

His stepdaughter Lydia Webber spoke with admiration Friday about the little things Mr. Farnsworth did to help her family and many others in the community.

She said he helped with everything from doing projects around her house to finding a chicken that didn’t make its way back to the coop.

“He just couldn’t do enough for you,” Webber said. “He was the nicest man … the most wonderful person. … We are all going to miss him so much.”

Mr. Farnsworth was an active member of the Masonic Lodge and the Kora Temple.

For the past 10 years or so, he had struggled with Lyme disease. About four years ago, he went to live at the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough. His wife visited him nearly every day and was with him when he died.

“He was such a fighter and such a strong man. He just kept going and going,” his wife said. “Right now, it’s a big happy relief that he is not suffering.” 

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

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