Widgery Thomas Jr., a former banking executive in Portland who was known for his devotion to community service and his passion for sailing, died on Nov. 22. He was 94.

Widgery Thomas Jr. was wont to tell his children, “God first, the other guy second, and you last.”

Mr. Thomas, a longtime president and board chairman of the former Canal National Bank, touched many lives across the Portland area, according to family members.

Mr. Thomas followed in his father’s footsteps and joined Canal National Bank around 1950. He served several years as president and chairman of its board of directors. In 1978, he stepped down as president. As board chairman, he oversaw the bank’s merger with Depositors Trust in 1982, followed by its merger with Key Bank in 1984.

A longtime Portland resident, Mr. Thomas had strong ties to the city. He served as president of the YMCA board and chaired the committee to build the Portland YMCA swimming pool. He was an active member and trustee of Trinity Episcopal Church.

“He loved people and what he could do for the community,” said his son Jack Thomas of Cumberland. “He wanted things better for others. He would see something that needed to be done, and what better person to do it than him?”

Mr. Thomas later joined Corporate Finance Associates in Portland. He retired in 2006.

“Having been a bank president, he knew people and business owners from all over the state,” said his nephew Seth Sprague, who worked with Thomas for six years. “It was a great relationship because he was so charming and such a trustworthy fellow that we were able to work with a number of people he had known in his business capacity.”

He was married to Joann Thomas, who predeceased him, for nearly 60 years. They raised five children.

Mr. Thomas was a lifelong sailor and past commodore of the Harraseeket Yacht Club. He spent summers with his family cruising along Maine’s coast in their boats: Calypso, Andiamo, Patience, Quikstep and Cockle.

He competed in many sailboat races, including the Monhegan, Halifax, Newport-to-Bermuda and the Friendship Sloop races.

His son remembered the day his father told him and his brother Peter to take the Cockle for a two-week cruise. He said one day while cruising off Monhegan Island, they came upon a sleeping whale. Peter stepped onto it, Jack Thomas said.

“To be 15 and 17 years old, … that’s not too bad,” his son said, chuckling. “As kids we were pretty lucky. He was supportive when needed. He was firm when needed. He taught us how to be with people. One of his favorite sayings was ‘God first, the other guy second, and you last.’ That’s kind of how he lived his life.”

His daughter, Gay Sampson of Portland, shared fond memories of her father coming home from work and giving them piggy-back rides to bed.

“He was a really loving and caring father,” Sampson said. “He was an excellent role model of giving back to the community. It was really important to him. … He instilled in me a competitive edge. He instilled that in all of us.”

At age 50, Mr. Thomas took up running. He ran the Maine Coast Marathon and Marine Corps Marathon. He ran his last Beach to Beacon race with his daughter at age 80.

His sister, Mary Lou Sprague of Cape Elizabeth, shared early memories of lobstering with her brother. She said they would pack the lobsters in his Ford Model A and sell them outside a liquor store on Forest Avenue in Portland.

“We’d sell the lobsters for 19 cents a pound,” his sister said. “One of my father’s colleagues went to get a bottle of liquor and there I was sitting on the sidewalk, selling lobsters to the guys coming out of the liquor store. He told my father, and that was the end of my career as a seller of seafood,” she said, laughing.

“I have the happiest memories of being with my brother,” Sprague said. “He knew everyone. It was fabulous.”

Mr. Thomas had lived at Piper Shores in Scarborough for the past 16 years. He lived there with his wife, who died in 2008.

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