TOPSHAM — David Leo Bourassa, 67, died peacefully at home on Jan. 27, surrounded by his wife and four daughters, of pulmonary fibrosis.

Bourassa was born in Rumford on March 19, 1947, to Clarence and Lorraine Bourassa.

He grew up on Rumford’s Pine Street, near his future-wife Dale, in a neighborhood called “Sticky Town” because it was where a molasses truck once tipped its contents into the streets.

Bourassa and his brothers spent their days exploring the Maine woods, admiring its beauty and wildlife, fishing, hunting and bringing their catches home to their mother to cook for dinner. From a young age, he always held a deep love for animals and a profound respect for the natural world.

After high school, Bourassa served in the U.S. Air Force, and then worked as a kennel attendant at the Westbrook Animal Hospital. The experience inspired him to become a veterinarian. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Maine, and in 1981 completed a doctorate in veterinary medicine at the University of Illinois. His first job as a licensed veterinarian was at the Westbrook hospital, the place that sparked his calling.

Bourassa opened his own veterinary practice in Freeport in 1983, and for 25 years served as the town’s animal doctor. He treated, stitched and soothed his patients with sincere compassion, often going to extraordinary lengths to heal them. He also volunteered and later worked as the animal shelter veterinarian at the Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick.

Throughout his life and in his retirement, Bourassa valued the simple things: a good cup of coffee with the morning paper, the love of family and friends, the quiet of the Maine woods. He believed that nature was the only perfect thing in the world.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Dale Bourassa; daughter Gillian Roy and husband, Joshua Roy; daughter Lindsey Bourassa; daughter Caitlin Bourassa; daughter Jamie McKenzie and husband, Alex McKenzie; grandson Owen McKenzie; his four brothers, Bill, Bob, Tim and Denis Bourassa; and his four cats, Tally, Trip, Prince Charming and Noah.

A celebration of Bourassa’s life is being planned for late March, in Freeport. Arrangements are under the care of Funeral Alternatives, in Brunswick.

For this who wish, donations may be made in Bourassa’s memory to the Coastal Humane Society, 190 Pleasant St., Brunswick, ME 04011.

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