Charles D. Dorchester

Kenduskeag – The Reverend Charles Donald Dorchester was born on March 22, 1934, in Hartford, Connecticut. Charles passed away in his sleep at a Summerville, South Carolina healthcare facility, on Friday, February 3, 2023. Son of the Reverend Donald Dorchester and Mary Elizabeth Freese Dorchester, he was predeceased by his older brothers, Douglas and Jack, and his parents.

As a young man, Charles spent his summers in Groton Long Point, CT. He loved lobstering and helped his father run informal sailing charters. After graduating from Yale University, Charles spent three years in the Army Security Agency. Following the Army, he completed his master’s degree in Divinity at Yale Divinity School.

As a student pastor in Connecticut, he served the Old Mystic and Noank United Methodist Churches. As an ordained minister, he served the West Granby and Copper Hill United Methodist Churches in Connecticut. Charles then relocated the family to Downeast Maine, where for the next ten years he simultaneously served the Jacksonville, Cutler, and West Lubec United Methodist Churches. During the summer he also ran the Jacksonville Camp Meeting Association and the summer youth camp. Later Charles served United Methodist parishes in Scarborough, Dover- Foxcroft, Atkinson, and Belfast, Maine.

Charles was a lover of the natural world and spent time “chasing birds” as a birdwatcher. He ran tours to Machias Seal Island (Puffin Island) for the Maine Audubon Society. Until recently, he was involved in annual bird counts, and Breeding Bird censuses, helping keep track of indigenous bird populations. He was always an environmentalist.

Charles married Mary Callender on March 4, 1961. Charles and Mary have two sons, Byron and Daniel. Byron is married to Nancy Winslow and they have two children, Danielle and Rexford. They live in West Hartford, Connecticut. Daniel is married to Wendy Allen, and they reside on Yonges Island, South Carolina. Charles greatly enjoyed being the father of Byron and Daniel, watching them grow up and participating in their young lives.

Charles and Mary celebrated their 61st year of marriage in 2022, a true and loving partnership in all ways. Their mutual interests were many, and they were never happier than when doing things together.

Charles is survived by several nieces and nephews, Robert and his wife, Susan Dorchester, and niece Jeanne Smith, in Florida; Diane and Donald Aucamp, and Don and Tina Dorchester of Cape Cod; Ellen and Russ Langwig of New York; and Marcy Dorchester of New Mexico.

Whatever he applied himself to, Charles could accomplish. In his younger years he was a great backyard car mechanic. He was an organic gardener. He was a photography enthusiast and enjoyed photographing birds. He was a remarkable artist; his sketches and paintings are outstanding.

During retirement, Charles enjoyed rehabilitating old homes, making them available for people in need of decent housing. He participated in the town affairs of Kenduskeag, as part of several committees. He was involved in the church life of the local Kenduskeag Union Church. The congregation became his local family.

Alzheimer’s Disease impacted his final years. Through it all, Charles had the same sweet disposition. Affable and laughing, ready to have a snack or share a joke with a chuckle.

Plans are being made for a memorial service from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, 2023, at Kenduskeag Union Church, 826 Kenduskeag Levant Rd., Kenduskeag, ME 04450.

Donations in memory of Charles may be made to Kenduskeag Union Church, P.O. Box 271, Kenduskeag, ME 04450.