Obituary of Morton Ashley Strom
Morton Ashley Strom, November 8, 1931 to February 2 2024. Mort Strom (his name, a palindrome), passed away in the comfort of his home on February 2, 2024. Born in Portland to Lawrence Newell Strom and Virginia White Strom, Mort grew up in the village of Sebago Lake, and graduated from Standish HS in 1950. He was a classmate of Jean Johnson (class of 1951) whom he would marry in 1956.
After serving in the US Air Force from 1950-54, Mort graduated from Gorham State Teachers College 1959, and later received a masters degree from the University of Maine at Orono. He and Jean came to Camden in 1959 where Mort taught industrial arts and mechanical drawing for 30 years with his dear friend Dan Richard, retiring in 1989.
Over the years, in addition to teaching, Mort taught evening classes, inspected blueberries, was a house painter, broadcast CRHS basketball games with Charlie Crockett, assisted friends with construction projects, coached golf, taught driver’s ed, and painted signs of all kinds. In his retirement, Strom Signs expanded to the creation of hand-carved, gold leaf signs which continue to grace the midcoast area and many other communities. Mort lived a lifetime of service, giving generously of his time and talents in leadership for organizations from the YMCA, to the Camden select board where he was chairperson, president of Camden library (including the historic restoration of harbor park), the Snow Bowl, AFS, the Rockport Boat Club, MBNA Foundation Scholarship Committee, and the Camden Congregational Church.
Among the honors he received were selection as Townsperson of the Year, a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary International, Maine Industrial Arts Teacher of the Year, and the naming, with his wife Jean, of the Strom Auditorium at Camden Hills Regional High School. Maine, and particularly Camden, had no greater champion than Mort. When faced with the prospect of travel, he said, “Why would I want to go anyplace else?” He embraced all of the seasons:boating on Penobscot Bay, skiing at the Snow Bowl, golfing at Goose River, biking his favorite road from Chestnut Street to Rockport, fishing for salmon or bass, and working the woods with his beagles in search of rabbits.
An avid sports fan, Mort’s greatest enthusiasm focused on the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and local high school teams. Ever an optimist, Mort’s philosophy was that life was cyclical, and he did not spend time looking back on what had been, but rather look forward to what was next. Mort is survived by his wife, Jean, his children, Kimberly, Gregory, and Michael, his sisters, Naida Harris and Susanne Poulin, and many nieces and nephews, friends, and former students. He is pre- deceased by his parents, and his brothers Hubert and Roland. In his final weeks, he was lovingly cared for by Christina Smith and Jen Noice.
A service of remembrance will be held at the Camden Congregational Church on Saturday, February 24th at 1:00 followed by a reception in the Pilgrim Room. Online streaming will also be available.
Attendees are invited to dress in support of their favorite sports team. At a later date, internment will be in Seaview Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Mort’s memory can be made to the Camden Snow Bowl, or Camden Area District Nurses Association.