William Erwin Mitman, 88, of Whitefield, Maine, went to greener pastures on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at Cove’s Edge in Damariscotta, after years afflicted with both Parkinson’s Disease and dementia. Bill was born on Dec. 12, 1930 in Abington, Pennsylvania to the late William Tobias and Eliza (Erwin) Mitman.
Growing up in Pennsylvania, Bill graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from Lehigh University, and was a member of the Naval Reserve at the Joint Reserve Base, Willow Grove Airport, PA, where he packed parachutes and inspected and fueled planes for pilots training for the war in Korea.
His early career was with ALCOA, where his father was VP, and brought him to Chicago. Bill was an avid sailor and was often part of the Mackinac Island Race on Lake Michigan.
Bill and his wife of 44 years, Karen, owned a specialty metals company selling high temperature alloys to the experimenting engineers in the aerospace industry. Moving to Maine from Marblehead, Bill happily traded his custom made three piece pin striped suits/gold pocket watch/wingtip shoes for casual wear and overalls, which he then much preferred.
Bill and Karen became known locally as Innkeepers, restaurateurs, goat herders, and cheesemakers owning The Squire Tarbox Inn on Westport Island for 20 years. Guests enjoyed lively discussions, philosophizing and friendship while Bill worked his barn chores amid the chickens, goats, pigs, donkeys and horses. During this time he donated many hours to local committees and was an early board member of the original Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association.
Retiring to a small farm in Whitefield in 2002, they raised varieties of egg laying chickens and Nubian goats while giving refuge to rescue donkeys and rescue horses. Bill loved the serenity of his pastures and stone walls, and the company of his collie, Sable.
During his later years, he took lessons to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a pilot and owner of a small airplane. Bill loved being up in the air taking in the beautiful Maine scenery, “destination-less” and “counting the cows.” A lover of tap dancing, he became a clogger even performing once on stage at Bowdoin College.
Bill is survived by his wife, Karen Ranger Mitman, also of Whitefield, Maine; his beloved son, Robert Scott Mitman and wife Barbara; three grandchildren, Sarah Marie Mitman, Anna Claire Mitman and Scott James Mitman all of Downer’s Grove, Illinois. He was also brother to the late Peggy Mitman Fuchs of Radnor, Pennsylvania; and of Beverly Stewart of Portland, Maine.
At Bill’s request, there will be no service. Memorial contributions in his name may be made to local animal welfare organizations. Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com.