FALMOUTH — Delwood Coleman “Del” Damboise, DDS, 83, died Jan. 7, surrounded by his family after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
He was born March 8, 1932, in Caribou, the son of Edward Damboise and Evelyn Soucie. When he was young he attended a one-room schoolhouse near his family’s farm. Damboise graduated from Caribou High School, where he excelled in academics and athletics and earned 16 varsity letters. He was voted Most Likely to Succeed and was the salutatorian of his graduating class. After attending Bowdoin College, Damboise graduated from the Georgetown University School of Dentistry in 1957.
Damboise joined the Air Force after graduating from dental school, putting his skills as a dentist to work while earning the rank of captain. He was stationed overseas and traveled extensively throughout Europe, as well as to Saudi Arabia and the Soviet Union. Damboise met his future wife, Betty, while he was stationed in Germany; the couple married in 1961.
He opened his Portland dental practice in 1960, and practiced in the city for 42 years. Damboise often saw successive generations of families. He taught pharmacology at Westbrook College for several years, becoming a favorite instructor who was often asked to speak at commencement.
Damboise enjoyed many hobbies, including tennis, golf, photography and skiing, but he loved sailing the most. He was a longtime member of the Portland Yacht Club and raced his sailboat, “Barbara,” along the Maine coast for 45 years. Damboise won countless races with his dedicated, longtime crew that included his son, David. He was a very competitive sailor who paid meticulous attention to detail. He taught his children and grandchildren how to sail, and also taught his three children to ski.
Damboise always had a special place in his heart for children. His boat always had a “candy drawer,” to the delight of many children. He would always schedule a half day on Wednesdays so he could spend the afternoon playing with his grandchildren.
He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and brother, and developed many friendships in his many years in the Portland area, but also maintained close ties to family and friends in Caribou.
Damboise is survived by his wife of 53 years, Betty Damboise, of Falmouth; three children, Dr. Suzette Damboise, of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, David Damboise, of Yarmouth, and Michelle Damboise, of Portland; five grandchildren, Hannah, Madeline, Benjamin, Amelia and Jake; and a sister, Diane Hall of Waldoboro.
The family would like to extend their thanks to Sedgewood Commons, Longfellow Unit and Hospice of Southern Maine.
Visitation was held Jan. 11, at Jones-Rich-Hutchins Funeral Home in Portland. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Holy Martyrs Church in Falmouth on Jan. 12. Burial will be at Pine Grove Cemetery in Falmouth, in a private ceremony at a later date.