Obituary: George Thomas Cartier Jr. - Portland Press Herald

2021-12-23 06:33:46 By : Ms. Bonnie He

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FALMOUTH - Tom stated that his life was not something that could be summarized in a few words with any degree ...

FALMOUTH – Tom stated that his life was not something that could be summarized in a few words with any degree of understandability. The key to his life was “a lack of focus, resulting in a checkered career that few can match for variety and lack of distinction.” He called himself a “Jack of All-Trades and Master of None.”

Born in Scranton, Pa., the son of Aline (Stier) and George Thomas Cartier Sr., his family moved around as his father was an executive with Bell Telephone. The highlight of his young life were summers at Camp Tecumseh on the shores of Lake Winnepesauke, N.H. Attending Episcopal Academy until his father’s untimely death, he graduated from Radnor High School in Pennsylvania, where he met the love of his life, Connie Lowry.

After his freshman year at Haverford College, he slipped off the end of the academic rope and went to work as a shipfitter at Cramp’s Shipyard in Philadelphia. Drafted into the Navy in 1943, he trained as a Pharmacist’s Mate, Physical Therapist, and Pre-Med student. The War ended, and after another go at Haverford College, (during which he got married and completed one year of medical school at Boston University), he finished with a B.A. in Biology with many credits in multiple disciplines.

To help pay for college and earn a living some of his early jobs were as a bell hop, a cook at a girls’ camp, a professional magician, a waiter, an instructor in comparative anatomy at Haverford, manager of a clinical chemistry lab at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts, and an analytical chemist for Smith-Klein. He landed a job as an organic research assistant to a doctorate at Smith-Klein where they thought he was a graduate chemist. This rigorous technical work prepared him for future jobs, first as head of market development at Quaker Chemical, then as Research Director at the A.M. Collins Div. of International Paper Company, where he designed, built and staffed a research department from scratch.

In 1961 he founded Keystone Filter Media Co. in Hatfield, Pa., making pleated sheet filter media for filter manufacturers. He made filters for all kinds of fluids, some the first of their kind, and was awarded a U.S. patent for his sub-micron filter for clean rooms.

In 1974 he sold the business, moved to Maine, and started another business, The Maine Shipping Room, distributors of shipping and packaging supplies. He may have enjoyed this job the most, for traveling throughout the beautiful state of Maine, and developing relationships with his many customers. He loved people, and it was a point of pride that he could sell people the products they needed by developing good relationships.

Retiring in 1988, he and Connie enjoyed traveling, gardening, his grandchildren, and creating deathless works of art.

In his words, the above career had one unifying characteristic: an almost suicidal inclination to rush into truly difficult situations where the outcome is completely unknown, and where he was not really prepared for it. Life is much more exciting that way.

He was predeceased by his wife of 70 years, Constance; his sister, Suzanne and brother, Phillip.

Surviving are his children George Thomas Cartier III, Constance Dube and husband Tom; grandchildren Jenna Terpening and husband Chris, and Erica Houde and husband Mike; and great-grandchildren Annalise, Michael and Eliana.

We would like to thank the staff at Avita at Stroudwater for all their help and support in his last months, and Compassus Hospice for their help in his last week of life.

Services will be planned at a later date.

To offer condolences and share fond memories please visit to view Tom’s online guestbook.

Send questions/comments to the editors.

After 40 years at Bath Iron Works, he dreamed of fixing up his house to sell it and simplify his life. But he chose not to get vaccinated and tested positive just weeks after he retired.