FREEPORT — Wayne A. Hollingworth, 80, a longtime resident of Freeport, died peacefully April 9 at Maine Medical Center after a lengthy illness, with friends at his side.
He was born Feb. 26, 1935, in Providence, Rhode Island, to Robert and Ruth Hollingworth. At age 12, he and his family moved to Edgewood, Rhode Island, and Wayne graduated from Cranston High School.
After attending the University of Rhode Island, he became involved in the Rhode Island fishing community, worked in restaurants and became known for his cooking skills. He also served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany.
Returning to civilian life, Hollingworth studied photography in New York City, where he was active in the art world and documented the work of many performers. A lover of folk music, he sang with well-known musicians of the time, and his loft in lower Manhattan became an informal “coffeehouse.”
More recently, Hollingworth performed at the Freeport Community Center and sang as a local hospital volunteer. In his spare time, he enjoyed working with wood, studied at The Wooden Boat School, and participated in building several small boats.
A true “union man,” Hollingworth was member of the Maine State Employees Association, MSEA-SEIU. He served as a union steward and rose to become president of the union. Tasked with representing workers in tough negotiations, he worked on a first-name basis with many Maine legislators and governors.
Hollingworth was a strong advocate in all levels of democracy. He supported many political candidates, and served as chairman of the Freeport Democratic Committee and on the Maine State Democratic Committee. He was engaged in Freeport town politics and often spoke at public meetings.
He also proudly supported the environmental work of the Maine Clammers Association, served as a counselor in the Aspire Program in Lewiston, and fought for the protection of battered women and children.
After retirement, Hollingworth completed his B.A. at the University of Southern Maine, where he became a mentor and informal teacher to many students. He had a special impact on the lives of “new Mainer” immigrants. He adopted a Somali granddaughter, and even adopted a Somali name, Elmi, to help strengthen his bond with her.
Hollingworth was a member of the Durham Quaker Meeting House.
A celebration service will be held Saturday, May 9, at 1 p.m. at Freeport Community Services, 53 Depot St, Freeport.
Memorial donations can be made to Freeport Community Services or to MSEA-SEIU, Attn: Scholarship Funds, P.O. Box 1072, Augusta, ME 04332-1072.