PORTLAND, Maine — Merton G. Henry, a longtime friend and adviser to the family of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, died Friday night at Maine Medical Center in Portland, following a brief illness. He was 92.

“Mert was a wonderful friend to my husband, Tom, and me for decades,” Collins said Saturday. “In addition to being a tremendous lawyer, Mert worked tirelessly for countless civic and philanthropic causes and was a wise counselor to many of us who served in public office.”

Henry grew up in the Hampden area, and served in the military during World War II, then went on to earn degrees at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, and the school of law at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

[Donald Collins, father of Sen. Susan Collins, dies at 92]

Henry served as a longtime adviser and supporter of moderate Republican Sens. Margaret Chase Smith, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins, but was also known for his friendship with Democratic Sen. George Mitchell, participating in the George J. Mitchell Oral History Project.

Henry was also involved in a number of nonprofits over the years as a supporter and board member, including the Margaret Chase Smith Foundation, the Morton Kelly Charitable Trust, Portland Museum of Art, Hospice of Maine and the Scarborough Public Library.

Former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe and former Gov. John McKernan Jr., said in a joint statement Saturday, “Mert stood as an exemplar for us to emulate with his voice of reason and moderation; what we like to call the ‘sensible center.’”

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. April 14, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Portland.

This report appears as part of a media partnership with Maine Public.

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