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Neal P. McPhee ’65

Neal Perley “Nick” McPhee, age 83, passed away Christmas morning, Dec. 25, 2023.

Born Nov. 10, 1940 in Boothbay, Maine, Nick was part of a long legacy of Boothbay families. His grandfather, Perley “Pearl” McPhee was the Chief of Police in Boothbay Harbor from 1920 until 1940.

Nick graduated college in 1965 as part of the second student body class to complete a full 4-year program at Maine Maritime Academy. After graduating, Nick began his career as a merchant mariner for Texaco which after many years culminated as Commodore Chief Engineer. He retired in 1994. Nick shipped all over the world, including through the Panama Canal. During his time at sea, he invented the McPhee Crossover, a new approach to fuel management that was far more efficient and was implemented throughout the Texaco fleet.

A life at sea suited Nick as it requires a unique self-discipline to honor the responsibility for the lives of those who sail with you. Nick exemplified the high ideals and qualifications of an officer and a gentleman of the United States Merchant Marine.

When not at sea, he loved cooking big breakfasts for Valarie “Val,” his beloved wife of 43 years, and his children, Jason, Adam, David and Meghan. He enjoyed woodworking and spending days out in the harbor with Val on his boat, Trick’s End. He and Val spent several annual get-aways fishing at Pierce Pond. He loved their fur-babies, too, including three golden retrievers, Pearl, Molly and Sienna; four Newfoundlands, Rosie, Angus, Dulcinea and Abby; and too many cats to name.

Nick was predeceased by his mother Arlene L Brewer, father Cecil Perley McPhee, sister Jayne (McPhee) Crocker, wife Valarie (Fullerton) McPhee, and son Matthew Neal McPhee.

He leaves behind his loving family: son Jason McPhee and his wife Elisa of Scarborough; son Adam McPhee and his wife Erica of Spring Hill, Tennessee; son David McPhee and his wife Megan of Melbourne, Florida; daughter Meghan (McPhee) Webb and husband Branden of South Yarmouth, Massachusetts; as well as grandchildren: Marin, Phaedra, Delainey, Kaiden, Erilyn, Jakob, Robin and Griffin.

May he have a safe voyage home. Finished with engines.

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