Obituary for Joseph O. "'Gump'" Coolbroth Sr.
ROCKLAND – Joseph O. ‘Gump’ Coolbroth, Sr., 90, died Saturday, April 15, 2017 at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport following an extended illness.
Born in Lynne, Massachusetts, December 20, 1926, he was the youngest of six children of Charles A. and Elizabeth Sweetland Coolbroth. At a young age he moved to Tenants Harbor with his family. He attended local schools.
He was a World War II, U.S. Navy Veteran and served aboard the U.S.S. Upshur.
Returning home, Gump hauled pulp wood a while before beginning his career as a commercial fisherman. December 8, 1956, he married Gloria M. Curtis in Rockland. The couple made their home in Tenants Harbor most of their married lives.
He first worked independently as a lobsterman and later as a commercial fisherman. For many years he captained commercial fishing vessels out of ports along the Eastern Seaboard. Gump was a hard worker all his life and continued working after his formal retirement in 2009, following more than 60 years of fishing.
In his younger years, Gump was recognized as a semi-pro boxer.
He enjoyed digging clams, picking crabmeat and did most anything associated with seafood or fishing.
He loved feeding the birds and animals around his home and enjoyed the challenge of keeping the squirrels from eating his bird food.
He was a member of the American Legion Post No. 178, Waterville, and attended the Tenants Harbor Baptist Church.
For several years, Gump resided at the Methodist Conference Home and more recently at the Knox Center, both in Rockland. He was known as a joker and was always flirting with his caregivers. Gump was devoted to all his family.
Other than his parents, Gump was pre-deceased by his wife Gloria in 2013; a daughter, Heather Coolbroth Bowring in 1990; a step-son Lawrence H. Wilson, Jr. in 1997; a granddaughter Shiloh Marie Meklin in 2013; four siblings, Grace Morey, Eleanor Mosley, Arlene Thompson and Charles Coolbroth, Jr., as well as his first wife and mother of five of his children, Esther L. Harriman. He is survived by his children, Joseph O. Coolbroth, Jr. of Waterville, Josephine L. Cushman and her husband John of Searsmont, Cynthia Pobelette and her husband Salvadore of Rockland, Mary Howard and her husband David of Rockport, Janice Wilson of Thomaston, Joyce Wilson of Tenants Harbor, Charlene Joy and her husband Terry of Rockland, Jennie L. Coolbroth of Westbrook; one sister, Jennie Payne of Palo Alto, CA; a sister-in-law, Donna Coolbroth Maxwell of Tenants Harbor; several sister-in-law’s and brother-in-law’s; 26 grandchildren; 46 great-grandchildren and eight great-great grandchildren.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland, where a celebration of Gump’s life will be held at 11:00 am, Thursday, April 27th. Pastor Bill Hickey will officiate. A reception will follow at the funeral home’s 104 Limerock facility. A committal service will be held at 10:00 am, Thursday, May 4, 2017, at Seaside Cemetery, Tenants Harbor.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the St. George Ambulance and Firefighters Association, P.O. Box 249, Tenants Harbor, ME 04860.