AUGUSTA – Gary Lee Diffin, 69, passed away in a tragic automobile accident July 30, 2013. He was born Jan. 5, 1944, in Calais, son of Darrell F. Diffin and Florence (Carlow) Diffin of Robbinston.
Gary graduated from Calais Memorial High School in 1962, and attended the University of Maine, Orono, on a Georgia-Pacific scholarship, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry in 1966. Gary married E. Marilyn Harmon Aug. 6, 1966. He taught school before being drafted by the U.S. Army in 1969, where he was stationed as a medic at an Army hospital outside of Heidelberg, Germany. After an honorable discharge in 1971, Gary taught science at Pembroke High School and worked several summers as a park naturalist for Acadia National Park at the St. Croix Island International Historic Site. In 1973, Gary became a loving and devoted father to his only child, Jennifer Amy Diffin. Gary left teaching to run a Montgomery Ward franchise in Calais, and also started his own portable sawmill business. He eventually returned to teaching; this time he taught science at Calais High School, saying that he wanted his high-school aged daughter to have a good background in science – so he should just teach it himself. His marriage to Marilyn ended in 1995. A second marriage to Janice Berry ended in divorce in 2003. After his retirement from teaching, he eventually settled in Augusta and opened Mainly Paperbacks Used Book Store. His love of books remained a constant throughout his life.
Gary is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer Diffin and Keith Martin of Washington, D.C.; his loving stepmother, Agnes Diffin of Waterville; several cousins; former sister-in-law, Helen (Harmon) Townsend; and the woman he loved to go dancing with, Jackie Lapointe. Gary was predeceased by his parents, Darrell and Florence Diffin.
A graveside service for family and friends will be held 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 9, at Brewer Cemetery, Robbinston. Informal attire is perfectly acceptable – it was Gary’s preferred choice of clothing. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Gary may be made to American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org. Arrangements by Mays Funeral Home, Calais and Eastport. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.maysfuneralhome.com.