Ted Stinson, 79, of Wiscasset, ME, died peacefully on August 28, 2016, with family at his side. Charlotte Stinson died just a few months later at 78 on December 3rd, 2016.
Ted led a colorful and fulfilling life. He was born in Detroit, MI, to Kenneth and Marjorie Stinson. Ted took interest in the sciences, drafting, art and model building from a very early age. He would recall that he started building model kits when he was just three years old and finished his first model when he was five years old. It was a model airplane of a Mustang. Sometimes Ted’s initiative got him in hot water. When only 7 years old, Ted did not like is primary school teacher. He attempted to enroll himself in a new school by filling out an application using an old typewriter that was given to him as a gift. The school tipped off Ted’s parents before he was enrolled.
Later in life as a teenager, Ted traveled to Central America to visit his father who had a consulting job at the Panama Canal. Ted would often tell stories about his experiences in Central America including having to cook his cereal before eating it in order to kill the bugs. He fell very ill while there and developed a serious chest infection. He survived the illness. While returning to U.S., his ship, the SS Esso New Haven, survived two hurricanes before docking safely in New York.
After graduating from Deerfield Academy in 1956, Ted attended Brown University and then the University of Massachusetts. He graduated from UMass with a double major in Math and Chemistry. He returned to get his Masters in Educational Administration. Ted married his wife of 55 years, Charlotte, in 1960. Ted went on to teach Math and Science at Bement School in Old Deerfield, MA. In 1970, he became the Head of the Lower School at Hamden Hall in Hamden, CT. In 1973, he became Headmaster of The Community School in St Louis, MO. As an educator, Ted was known for adopting innovative teaching methods, many of which are now common in child-centered educational settings.
While Ted loved teaching, his passion for art and model kit building led him back to New England in 1978. The family settled in Wiscasset, ME, where he opened an art studio and model kit business located on Route 1 called “The Laughing Whale.” Ted’s art sold moderately well, but his scale model kits of traditional New England watercraft flourished. Within a few years he had two retail stores that bustled particularly during tourist season. Some Laughing Whale boat designs can still be found under the Midwest Model Products brand.
In 1985, Ted sold the business to Bluejacket Shipcrafters and he started a model train business called Northeast Narrow Gauge. The business offered kits of narrow gauge trains including those found on the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway. Throughout his manufacturing endeavors, Ted proudly manufactured kits in the state Maine and from local lumber, when many other kit businesses switched to plastic and offshore manufacturing. Many locals may remember seeing the trains and boats in the window of the Wiscasset Old General Store where they were sold for many years. Ted also drew and published plans for more than 100 model train, boat and building projects in publications such as Garden Railways Magazine.
Ted and Charlotte left behind two sons, Ian Stinson and his wife Lauren and grandchild, Camden, of Atlanta, Edward Stinson and his partner Rickman of Bath; Ted's sister Bonnie and Charlotte's sister Nancy.
In lieu of sending flowers, the family asks that you show sympathy by making a charitable gift toCatholic Charities of Maine at http://www.ccmaine.org or (207) 781-8550. The people at Catholic Charities showed Ted and Charlotte incredible compassion over the past few years.
If you would like to contact the family, you can reach them through this contact form.