Obituary: Johnson “John” Carroll Fenwick
BRUNSWICK – Johnson “John” Carroll Fenwick passed away peacefully at his home on January 26, 2023 after a long and fulfilling life. He was 95.
Born in 1927, the oldest of four children, John recalled fond memories of the summers he spent with his siblings and cousins on his grandparents’ farm in North Appleton, Maine. He played baseball and football at South Portland High School and graduated in 1944 at the age of 17. He immediately enlisted in the army, intending to serve his country in World War II. Rather than send him overseas, the Army sent him to his specialized training program at the University of Maine, after which he served as an MP in Seattle, Washington. John returned to the University of Maine after his time in the Army, where he played cards, drank beer, met his future wife Ruth “Kitty” Kittridge through his roommate (her brother), Charlie Kittridge, and ended up with ‘ graduated with a degree in business. administration in 1951.
John began his career with the WT Grant Company and achieved success as a store manager of several branches throughout New England. He married Kitty, who he would say was too good for him, on February 22, 1952, and they went on to raise five children together. John was transferred to the Grant’s store in Brunswick in 1968, and he, Kitty and the children returned to Maine for good. When WT Grant went bankrupt in 1976, John and two of his fellow Grant’s managers reopened the Brunswick location as Grand City and hired many of the former Grant’s employees to work there. Grand City operated as a beloved local retail store and restaurant in its original location for 17 years and then for another fifteen on Maine Street, run by John’s son, Scott.
John’s pride in running Grand City was eclipsed only by his love for and loyalty to his family. To hear him tell it, his grandchildren were geniuses and world-class athletes. John contributed to various college funds, bought numerous used cars, and maybe bailed one or two of us out of jail along the way. He was a man you could call at any time, for any reason, and he would be there to help.
John was defined by his integrity. He taught his children and grandchildren to never take anything that did not belong to them, even if it was money lying on the street. As a classic Yankee, he didn’t kid himself. Yes, he held a coat together with duct tape that he wore to clear his driveway with his thirty-year-old snowblower. He continued this practice into his 90s, even climbing onto the roof to shovel snow, much to the dismay of his family.
John enjoyed sports, both as a participant and spectator. In addition to the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics, he loved watching the UConn women’s basketball team play. He was an avid golfer and maintained a somewhat unconventional fitness routine for most of his life. If you ever saw a man with a washcloth held on his head by a sweatband, wearing short shorts and tube socks jogging in Brunswick, it was probably John. He was one of a kind and one of the best, and we will all miss his eccentric fashion choices and devilish smile.
John was predeceased by his beloved wife, Kitty, his brother, Willis “Billy” Fenwick, and his sister, Ann Dunnett. His sad but grateful family includes his five children, Jo Ann Newell, Susan Fenwick, Scott Fenwick, Amy Hankla and Heidi Fenwick; his sons and daughter-in-law, Jeffrey Newell, Stephen Clancy, Elizabeth Fenwick and Loyd Hankla; his eight grandchildren and their spouses, Allison Huppé, Evan Newell, Krista Newell, Derek Campbell, Jennifer Campbell, Matthew Campbell, Maxwell Fenwick, Mickaela Connolly, Kelsey Fenwick, Hannah Krowne, Jeffrey Krowne and Trevor Fenwick; three great-grandchildren, Ava Huppé, Harland Johnson Fenwick and Hendrix Fenwick; his sister Jeanine Starrett and sister-in-law Pat Fenwick; and many in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins.
A brief service celebrating John’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Sunday, February 5, 2023 at the Brackett Funeral Home, 29 Federal Street, Brunswick.
Memories and condolences may be shared at http://www.brackettfh.com.
In lieu of flowers, charitable donations may be made to: The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, PO Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741 (www.michaeljfox.org) or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Invalid username / password.
Please check your email to confirm and complete your registration.
Use the form below to reset your password. When you have submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.