David Astor, 92: Lived a continuous adventure

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FALMOUTH — David Astor, 92, died suddenly on Dec. 10 after a heart attack.

Born on Sept. 26, 1919, he grew up on Munjoy Hill where he met his wife Esta Venner; they shared over 61 years of marriage before she died in 2007.

Astor graduated from Portland High School and from the University of Maine at Orono.

He will be remembered for his philosophy, “life is a continuing adventure,” living this from his high school days, throughout college and into his time in the U.S. Marine Corps. After being stationed in Quantico, Va., he served in the Pacific theater and was discharged in 1945 after receiving many citations and commendations.

After the war, he worked with his father at Kaiser-Frazer dealership.

WGME asked him to develop a show that the whole family could enjoy and Astor did so, creating the “Dave Astor Show: For Teenagers Only” which aired on Saturdays from 5 to 6 p.m. The show featured teenagers from area schools. Astor always said, “Students could receive a C on their report card and still play their varsity sports – but only kids with the Honor Roll were allowed on my show.” The show remained on the air for over 16 years between WGME 13 and WCSH 6.

Throughout his life, Astor was involved in various community organizations throughout his life. He was the founder of Center Day Camp in the Jewish Community Alliance, directed many plays at the Portland Players and was a board member at The Cedars retirement community. He also worked with the Portland Rotary for many years, was a lifelong member at Temple Beth El and was on various committees at the Jewish Community Center.

He was predeceased by his sister Eveyln Rissman.

He is survived by his son, Ken Astor and his wife Chris of Falmouth, Rangely and Sarasota, Fla.; daughter Martha Padernacht and her husband Robert of Columbia, S.C.; his grandchildren John Astor of Gray, Laura Mauldin and her husband Tom of South Portland, Brett Astor of Boulder, Colo., Kristen Astor of Richland, Wash., and Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Foster of Fort Collins, Colo.; great granddaughter, Melanie Esta Mauldin; great grandson Benjamin Foster; sisters Sylvia Rosenkranz and her husband Mike of Plantation, Fla. and Mural Benjamin and her husband Howard of Coconut Creek, Fla.; sister-in-laws Judy Halpert and her husband Stephen of Portland and Glenyce Tarlow of Stamford, Conn.; and several nieces, nephews and his dear friend Rabbi Sky.

The family would like to extend their thanks to the staff at OceanView in Falmouth and also to David’s close cousins who were very attentive to him throughout the years, Sam and Betty Novick.

Funeral services were held Dec. 13 at Temple Beth El, 400 Deering St., Portland followed by burial at Temple Beth El Memorial Park. Arrangements are under the care of Jones, Rich & Hutchins, 199 Woodford St., Portland.