Hilary Heaton, born Feb. 7, 1928, in New York City, died peacefully on Feb. 2, 2020, after a brief illness.
He was the son of Maurice and Berenice VanSlyke of Valley Cottage, New York. In 1944, at the tender age of 15, Hilary left New York and enlisted in the Marine Corps. Hil’s time in the Corps was spent in the Solomon Islands where he served as an armorer with VMF III. Once stateside with the Corps, his talent with all things mechanical enabled him to become a motorcycle messenger, which in turn led to years of competitive motorcycle racing while employed by Triumph. Before moving to Maine in 1969, Hil managed a sugar cane plantation in St. Croix, owned a bed and breakfast in Vermont, and operated heavy equipment in New York.
Hilary was a renovator who sunk his considerable talents and vision into a small lobster shack in East Boothbay. The “shack” was transformed into Lobsterman’s Wharf, which he and his wife, Kathy, ran for nearly 40 years. His talents, both artistic and mechanical, were many and not limited to, or by, walls — walls, which he loved to tear down and put up, perhaps in a slightly different place than the previous day.
Hilary was an avid hunter who pursued his passion all over the world. He also raised a wonderful family of hunting dogs.
Although born a New Yorker, he considered Maine to be his home. In later years Hil and Kathy spent time in their winter home in Darien, Georgia. Darien hosted his 80th birthday party, a surprise to him, and attended by friends and family from all over the country. It was an opportunity for all to come together to congratulate a man who quietly helped people and was so respected by his community.
Hilary is survived by his wife of 32 years, Kathy; sons, Wallace, Leslie and Kevin; daughter, Tracy Laterri; three grandsons, Ross, Ryan and Daniel Heaton; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He also leaves his beloved dogs, Jake and Joey.
Everyone is welcome to a celebration of Hilary’s life on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Brady’s restaurant, Boothbay Harbor, from 1 to 4 p.m.