David I. Sterling, 74: Busy volunteer, community servant helped build state's infrastructure

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CAPE ELIZABETH — David I. Sterling, 74, died unexpectedly March 7 in Naples, Florida.

A resident of Cape Elizabeth, David Ingalls Sterling was born Aug. 15, 1940, the only son of Lewis C. and Margaret Ingalls Sterling. He spent his early childhood on Peaks Island, a place for which he always cared deeply.

He attended Kents Hill School and Cony High School, in Augusta, winning numerous awards for his athletic achievements. On July 7, 1958, he married Donna Anne Wentworth in Kennebunk.

After serving in the U.S. Army, Sterling earned a B.S. degree at the University of Maine, where he was a member of the football team. He went on to be recruited as a member of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Subsequently, he accepted a position as a surety bond specialist in the insurance industry. A member of the AGC of America, Sterling contributed to the growth of many Maine-owned businesses, helping to build infrastructure throughout the state. 

In his personal and professional life, Sterling was known for his warm smile, his firm handshake and his memorable narration of jokes and stories.

Strongly committed to volunteerism, Sterling was a 32nd-degree Mason. He also served as a member of the Lions Club, the Jaycees, Rotary International, the Auburn Zoning Board of Appeals, the U.S. Ski Patrol, the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Sterling also coached baseball and football, loved watching any sports event, and enjoyed many years skiing with his family at Lost Valley and Evergreen Valley. He and his wife also played golf for many years as members of Martindale Country Club. At age 50, Sterling fulfilled a longtime dream, purchased a boat, and began cruising the waters of Casco Bay with his family aboard the Just Grand.

Sterling is survived by his wife, Donna (Wentworth) Sterling, of Cape Elizabeth; daughter, Margaret and husband, Stephen Benson, of Cambridge, Massachusetts; daughter, Marsha Sterling and husband, James Roberts, of Winchester, Connecticut, and New York City; daughter, Marla and husband, Chip LeBlanc, of Cumberland; and son, David and wife, Susan Sterling, of Auburn. He is also survived by four grandsons, Michael David LeBlanc, Christopher Marshall LeBlanc, David Reynolds Sterling and Alexander Ingalls Sterling; a niece and four nephews.

A funeral was held March 14 at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, in Portland, with the Very Rev. Benjamin Shambaugh as celebrant. Interment with military honors will be in the spring at Riverside Cemetery, Cape Elizabeth.

Those who wish may make contributions in Sterling’s memory to Shriners Hospital for Children, c/o Kora Temple, 11 Sabattus St., Lewiston, ME 04240.

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