Walter N. Rumery, 68: Portland educator, developed local safety program

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PORTLAND — Walter N. Rumery, 68, died Dec. 17, at Gosnell Hospice House in Scarborough, with his loving family by his side.

He was born in Portland, March 21, 1945, the son of Aldo B. and Charlotte V. Clark Rumery. He attended local schools and graduated from Portland High School, class of 1963. Rumery furthered his education, receiving his bachelor’s in education from the Gorham State Teachers College, Gorham. He later earned his master’s in education from the University of Southern Maine.

On Aug. 13, 1993, he married Karen A. Peverada in Portland, where together they lived and worked.

Rumery taught school in Portland at King Middle School for a career that spanned 34 years. He was admired and well respected by students, colleagues and parents. His dry, sarcastic sense of humor, quick wit and dynamic teaching skills, along with his ever-changing collection of neck ties made Rumery a teacher that students always remembered.

Following retirement, he served a term on the Portland School Committee, was appointed to the Civil Service Commission for a one-year term and worked with the Kids and Transportation Office in Sanford. He developed a rail safety program for students and the Transportation Department preparing for the arrival of Amtrak service. Along with teaching, he worked many years at Hertz Rental Cars at the Portland Jetport.

In his spare time, Rumery was known for traveling two hours for a good meal of local seafood and was also known for making excellent chowder. He was an artist, loved band music and traveling, especially cruises. He and his wife recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary with a cruise to Hawaii. Family was at the center of his life, having lost his father at an early age, he took care of his mother and sisters. Following the birth of his daughter, the arrival of his two granddaughters was a very important and rewarding time in his life.

He was predeceased by his sister, Lois Morse.

He is survived by his wife, Karen Peverada Rumery, of Portland; daughter, Suellyn Rumery and husband, Steven Santiago, of Portland; sister, Carol and husband, Stephen Knox, of Arizona; two granddaughters, Natalie and Danielle Santiago, of Portland; two dogs, Lewis and Clark; and several nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours were held Dec. 20, at the Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, South Portland. A funeral service was held Dec. 21, at Woodfords Congregational Church, Portland. Burial followed at Forest City Cemetery, Lincoln Street, South Portland.

Those who wish, may make contributions in his memory to, Animal Refuge League, P.O. Box 336, Westbrook, ME 04098.

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