Edward Dewey, 88: Active volunteer helped make Eagle Island a landmark

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BAILEY ISLAND — Edward (“Ned”) Dewey, 88, of Bailey Island, died Nov. 20 in Brunswick, surrounded by his family.

He was the son of William R. and Katharine Pratt Dewey Jr,. of Weston, Massachusetts, and the husband of the late Zella Thomas Dewey.

Dewey attended the Belmont Hill School and graduated from Harvard College with the Class of 1948. He later entered the U.S. Army and saw active duty in Korea, where he rose to the rank of sergeant first class. He also was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service.

He went on to work in the Boston area as a manufacturer’s representative for Industrial Equipment and Sales Corp. He served as president for over 25 years, helping to establish the company on the principle that the customer always comes first.

In 1956 he married Zella, and the couple spent many weekends restoring their two antique homes, a passion they both shared.

In 1992, Ned and Zella retired to Bailey Island. He then set about his next career, supporting local nonprofit organizations.

Dewey contributed many hours as a volunteer for the Orr’s and Bailey Islands Fire Department, maintaining mailing lists and supporting fundraising efforts. He also found great inspiration working for The Friends of Peary’s Eagle Island. Adm. Peary’s motto, “find a way or make one,” matched Dewey’s own philosophy of determined persistence.

As a board member of The Friends, he helped with the design and construction of a visitor center, newsletter editing, fundraising and the petition – granted last summer – to make Eagle Island a National Historic Landmark.

Dewey’s happiest moments were supporting the causes he loved, and exploring Casco Bay with Zella, family and friends.

Dewey is survived by his children, Mary Lou and Kevin Fitzgerald, of Massachusetts, Caroline Dewey, of Rhode Island, and Tom Dewey and Terry Quan, of California; six grandchildren; and his sister, Barbara Dewey, of Massachusetts.

He was predeceased by Zella, his wife of 57 years; his brother, William R Dewey III; and his sister, Katharine Palfrey.

A memorial in celebration of Dewey’s life will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brunswick on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 1 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Friends of Peary’s Eagle Island, P.O. Box 70, Bailey Island, ME 04003, or to The Orr’s and Bailey Islands Fire Department, P.O. Box 177, Orr’s Island, ME 04066.

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