Lawrence Smith Dolby

SACO – Lawrence Smith Dolby, 80, passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, surrounded by his family, following a long illness. Born in Biddeford, he was the eldest son of Lawrence and Esther (Smith) Dolby. A lifelong Saco resident, Lawrence attended Saco schools and graduated from Thornton Academy in 1961. Following graduation, he worked as a carpenter for Frank Eunson, while attending the University of Maine, Portland-Gorham.

Lawrence became a certified commercial appraiser and worked for the Cole-Layer-Trumble Company for many years as a traveling municipal appraiser throughout the northeast United States, with his favorite assignment being in Greenwich, Connecticut.

On Sept. 23, 1972, Lawrence married the former Sandra Griffin of Biddeford and they made their home in Saco, where they raised their daughter, Christina.

Lawrence became a Certified Tax Assessor in the State of Maine and a member of the Maine Association of Assessing Officers. He worked as the Assistant Tax Assessor for the City of South Portland for many years. Lawrence took a year off from assessing to build a home for his parents, from borrowing a friend’s excavator to dig the hole, to the final nail. With the help of family members, the new house was exactly what his parents wanted. In 1980, Lawrence was hired as the Tax Assessor for the City of Sanford, a position he held until his retirement in 2005. He was a lifelong member of the United Baptist Church of Saco, where he served as Treasurer and a Trustee for many years.

In his spare time, Lawrence enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening and carpentry. His true joy was becoming a grandfather, first with the birth of Courtney in 1994 and then Sarah in 1998. He could always be counted on to say ‘yes’ to any babysitting requests and truly enjoyed gardening with his granddaughters and taking them for rides in his truck. His ‘super power’ was his success rate at getting an overtired grandchild to sleep, a skill that was appreciated by all. As the girls’ grew up, ‘Pa” could be found attending all of their sporting, academic and artistic events and proudly boasting of their accomplishments.

Lawrence was predeceased by his parents, his brother-in-law and dear friend Bruce Taylor and best friend, Rene Goupil. He also greatly missed his canine companion, Bam Bam the cockapoo.

Lawrence is survived by his wife of 51 years, Sandra; his daughter Christina O’Brien and her fiancé Chance Dodge of Litchfield; two granddaughters: Courtney Holmes and her husband Joseph of Denver, Colo., and Sarah O’Brien of Saco; two sisters: Sandra Taylor of Saco and Hannah Whittaker and her husband Paul of North Port, Fla.,; one brother, Richard Dolby and his wife Billiann of Hallowell, and several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 10-11 a.m., with a funeral service at 11 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Cote Funeral Home Chapel, 87 James Street, Saco. Rev. Dr. Burton S. Howe will officiate. Interment at Laurel Hill Cemetery will be private. To view Lawrence’s memorial page or leave an online condolence, please visit

Lawrence’s family would like to recognize their appreciation for the staff at Pinnacle North Berwick (especially nurse Sarah S.) and Sarah Cote, NP, of DM Health & Wellness, for her unwavering care of Lawrence’s diabetes management.

If desired, donations in Lawrence’s memory are suggested to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 7023,

Merrifield, VA 22116-7023.

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