Peter Galvin lived life with purpose and meaning right till the end.

A devoted husband and father, Galvin died on Oct. 13 after a five-year fight with leukemia. He was 54.

Peter Galvin

He was remembered by family on Tuesday as a warm, empathetic, and compassionate man who had a keen sense of right and wrong, and always thought of others.

“He was the type of guy who would give you a hurricane preparedness kit or remind you to change the batteries on your smoke detectors,” said his younger brother, Toben Galvin, of Shelburne, Vermont. “He was always thinking ahead, planning ahead … keeping people safe.”

He was a loving husband of Jodi Galvin for 24 years. The couple lived in Harpswell, where they raised two children, their daughter, Porter, and son, Camden.

Galvin’s obituary, which was published in Tuesday’s Portland Press Herald, said he “was so proud of his children and showered them with love. He will forever be their hero.”

His brother said Galvin and his wife shared a loving relationship. He said they had a tradition of celebrating their wedding anniversary on a Maine island.

“Sometimes they wouldn’t have time or help to get out to an island, so they would make do at low tide at Lookout Point in Harpswell, where they got married,” his brother said. “They would walk across the mud flats out to the island. They would make it there.”

Peter Galvin grew up in Brunswick, the eldest son of Edward and Pamela Galvin. He graduated from Brunswick High School in 1985. Four years later, he graduated from Skidmore College, where he formed lasting friendships with his college friends.

He was hired at Bath Iron Works right out of college. He worked stints at L.L. Bean and Kenway Corporation, where he served as vice president of sales for maritime boats. A few years ago, he returned to Bath Iron Works to work in the purchasing department.

Galvin’s brother said he wasn’t defined by his work, but rather his relationships with people.

His brother reflected Tuesday on their shared passion for the water. He said they grew up going lobstering with their father every weekend. In 1978, Edward Galvin gave his sons three wooden lobster traps, which they used to launch Galvin Brothers Lobster Co.

“We had a 12-foot skiff with a six-horsepower outboard motor,” his brother said. “We joked around that we were a lobster company. We had a big blue Dodge 100 pickup truck with a decal on there. It was just a family joke. We were never officially a lobster company. We grew up lobstering. In Harpswell, you have real fishermen. We were not real fishermen.”

According to his obituary, Galvin was a lifetime sport fisherman, who fished for striped bass, bluefish, mackerel and blue sharks. He was an avid lobsterman, whose red and yellow lobster buoy is etched in family history. He fished on Quahog Bay, Card Cove and Round Rock, always in pursuit of big fish and stunning sunsets. His brother choked up, saying he loved being on the water with family and friends.

“That was most important to him,” his brother said. “Again, he was giving and loved sharing the experience of the water with others. It meant more to him than seeing a pretty sunset or catching a fish.”

Galvin endured a five-year fight with leukemia. He had a period of remission, but his cancer returned in January 2020. Toben Galvin said his brother needed a stem-cell transplant, so he got tested through the organization, Be the Match. He was a 50 percent match and donated his stem cells to help try and save his brother’s life. Toben Galvin said his brother kept his spirits up and was resilient till the very end.

“He was the most important person in my life,” his brother said. “It’s been a long, slow goodbye. He was my best friend. We loved being with each other. One of the last things he said to me was keep making plans. The takeaway for me is to appreciate life and treasure everyday moments with your friends and loved ones. He certainly did. He didn’t want to give up.”

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