Richard D. Hewes, 87: Longtime lawmaker served state, community

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Richard D. Hewes, 87, of Cape Elizabeth, died peacefully at his home on July 8.

Hewes was born Aug. 16, 1926, in Biddeford, the second son of Clyfton and Frances (Libbey) Hewes, and was raised in Saco. He graduated from Thornton Academy, where he lettered in three sports and captained the baseball and football teams.

In 1945, Hewes was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the Pacific Theater at the conclusion of World War II. He attained the rank of captain before returning to the United States, where he attended the University of Maine. On the Orono campus, he played football and served as president of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He graduated in 1950, and earned a law degree from Boston University in 1953. He then went on to practice law in Saco with his father, Judge Clyfton Hewes.

He later worked as a trial lawyer in Massachusetts, where he met his future wife, Betsey Shaw. The couple married on Sept. 25, 1954, and resided in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

In 1960, Hewes and his family moved to Cape Elizabeth, and he began a 50-year career in which he tried over 300 jury trials in all 16 Maine counties. Hewes founded two law firms, and more recently practiced law with his two sons and his daughter-in-law.

Besides his legal career, Hewes soon found a political one after being elected to the Cape Elizabeth School Board. He went on to serve as a state representative for the town from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s. While in the State House of Representatives, he served as chairman of the Judiciary Committee and was elected Speaker of the House.

From 1978-1980, Hewes represented Cape Elizabeth, South Portland and part of Scarborough in the State Senate. He temporarily retired from politics to focus on his law practice, but in 1983 Gov. Joseph Brennan appointed him as Cumberland County Commissioner. He served in that role until the 1990s.

Hewes also served as president of the Northern New England Defense Counsel Association, the New England Association of Beta Theta Pi, the Greater Portland Young Republicans, the Cottage Farms School PTA, the Cumberland County University of Maine Alumni Association, the Portland Club, the First Radio Parish Church of America, the Cumberland County Bar Association and the Maine State YMCA, which awarded him its Distinguished Service to Youth award in 1983.

He was a member of the American, Maine and Cumberland bar associations, the Maine Trial Lawyers Association, the Mercy Hospital Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross Portland Chapter, the Greater Portland Council of Governments, The Portland Country Club, Stewart P. Morrill American Legion Post No. 35, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and various committees of the Town of Cape Elizabeth.

Hewes was a communicant of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, where he served as a lay eucharistic minister and a member of the vestry.

Until recent years, Hewes maintained an active regimen of golf, tennis and badminton with his wife and many friends. He treasured his family and adored his 10 grandchildren, who called him “Pop-Pop” because he cooked popcorn for them whenever they visited.

Hewes is survived by his wife, Betsey, of Cape Elizabeth; five children, Nancy Barry and husband, Robert, of Walpole, Massachusetts, Richard Hews and wife, Margaret, of Portland, James Hewes and wife, Mayumi, of Cape Elizabeth, Anne Hewes, of Cape Elizabeth, and Carolyn Smith and husband, Gordon, of Cape Elizabeth; and 10 grandchildren, Laura, Jonathan and Thomas Barry, Jane and Julie Hewes, Julia, Jenni and Jamie Hewes, and Gordon and Trilbey Smith. Survivors also include a brother-in-law, Robert C. Foden, of Scarborough, and several nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

Hewes was predeceased by his parents; his sister, Ann Foden; his brother, John “Jack” Hewes and wife Virginia Pennell Hewes; and a sister-in-law, Nancy Shaw Bolton.

A funeral was held July 11 at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Cape Elizabeth.

The family would like to thank the nurses of the VA and Hospice of Southern Maine. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Alban’s Community Outreach Ministry, which serves the homeless and those in need in Cumberland County.

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