William Arthur Stoops Jr.

FALMOUTH – After 98 vibrant years, William Arthur Stoops Jr. of Falmouth, passed away at home on Thursday, April 21, 2022, surrounded by his family.

Bill radiated friendship, kindness and humor to all who knew him in his many incarnations – sailor, master craftsman, raconteur, witty conversationalist, warm host, dog lover, and, not least, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Bill was born on Dec. 30, 1923 on Parris Island, S.C. to William A. Stoops Sr. and Emma Lee Ward Stoops.

Bill was predeceased by his brother, Reginal B. Stoops, in 1988. Being born into a naval family gave Bill a life-long love of the ocean. As a young boy he lived in Washington, D.C. and Bermuda, but was raised mostly in Newport, R.I. where his draw to all-things-maritime grew. Bill entered Brown University in 1941.

After Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, following his father, a captain in the medical corps. Bill served with distinction as an officer on minesweepers and destroyers, and saw duty first in the Pacific (7th Fleet) and later in the Mediterranean (6th Fleet). During his service, he traveled many countries, gathering tales with which he would regale friends and family over the years.

Bill attained the rank of lieutenant but resigned in 1955 to enter the Harvard Business School. That year, on a blind date, he met Sally Birnie, of Winchester, Mass., and in just a month’s time, they announced their engagement. They were married in August 1955, and were together for the next 67 years.

Bill and Sally settled in Needham, Massa. and raised three children. Bill joined the thriving new defense industry at Sylvania Electric, and worked there for many years. Then in 1982, he and Sally embarked on a new chapter in their lives when they left the suburbs of Boston and relocated north to homes in Maine and New Hampshire. Bill continued his career in the defense business as a manager at Bath Iron Works.

Bill loved being on the water in Harpswell and was finally able to pursue his sailing passion full-time. With his son Peter, he purchased a 36-foot Swan sloop and cruised the coastal waters. He participated in several Marion-Bermuda races and stood behind the helm well into his 90s, including a sail from South Bristol to Falmouth at the age of 95. (Equally remarkable was his piloting a Cessna 172 Skyhawk at the age of 97.) But to everyone’s surprise, the old salt discovered that he loved country life too. In 1995 he and Sally settled permanently into the rhythms of Freedom, N.H., where he became a much-loved member of the community, serving a long stint as the treasurer of the local library. He decided that the village would be his final resting place.

At last, in 2018, after more than three decades of enjoying the best of New England’s coasts and mountains, Bill and Sally joined the retirement community of Ocean View in Falmouth, where they continued to hold court with friends and family.

Bill is survived by Sally; their two sons, Bill of Saigon, Vietnam and Peter, of Falmouth, along with their wives Myoung-il Choi and Kate Wilkinson; by his daughter, Caroline Marston of Freedom, N.H., and her husband, Gregg; by his grandchildren and their spouses Sarah Marston Crocker and Tom Crocker, of Louisville, Colo., Chase and Julie Marston, of Denver, Colo., and Jake Marston and his partner, Natalie Sill, of Portland; by his great-grandson, Luca Marston Crocker; and many other nieces and nephews.

A service and celebration of Bill’s long life will be held in Maine in late July, with more information to follow.

Please visit http://www.lindquistfuneralhome.com to view Bill’s tribute page and sign his online guestbook.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to:

Freedom Public Library

38 Old Portland Rd.

Freedom, NH 03836;


Maine Maritime Museum

243 Washington St.

Bath, ME 04530;


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