Andrew Scott Mays, 53, died peacefully on December 28, 2017, at his home in Southwest Harbor, Maine. His wife and three sons were by his side. He was born on June 9, 1964, in Trenton, New Jersey, the son of Robert Henry and Audry Ann (Kolupski) Mays.
Andy grew up in Moretown, Vermont, and attended St. Monica's Catholic School in Barre, VT, Moretown Elementary School and Harwood Union High School, graduating in 1982. One night after graduation he made a vow that whichever branch of the military was advertised on that evening's late-night TV, he would enlist. And the future of his life's course was set in place at that moment. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard from September 26, 1983, to March 20, 1991. He was stationed on the USCGC Sassafras; he crossed the International Date Line, becoming a "Golden Dragon" on route to Hawaii. After leaving the cutter, he went to ET "A" School in Governor's Island, NY, and was then assigned to ANT Southwest Harbor from 1985 to 1991 as a lighthouse tech.
While stationed in Southwest Harbor, Andy realized that his true joy in life came from being in, on or under the water at all times. He learned to scuba dive and dove for scallops for more than 25 years and set up shop as "Aquaman" performing various commercial dive jobs but also delighting in retrieving lost articles for passersby and marine creatures for the DMR touch tank and the local Oceanarium. After leaving the Coast Guard, Andy attended the University of Maine in Orono and almost graduated in the spring of 1997; he was lacking two credits from an independent study. He finally received his degree in December 2016, having proven through his life's work that he had more than earned those two credits for a degree in aquaculture science.
Andy married his wife, Michelle, on February 6, 1998, in Tauranga, New Zealand, after having met her on the Oak Point Road in Trenton in 1995. They have three incredible children. He was very proud of their many accomplishments and enjoyed making them part of his world.
Andy was very active in civic organizations, the fishing industry and in town politics. Andy was a past master of the Tremont Masonic Lodge # 77, a member of the Academicians Unit of Anah Shrine and a member of American Legion Post #69, Southwest Harbor. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, an active member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Manset, and previously of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Ellsworth.
He served on the Maine Scallop Advisory Council for many years and was known for his insight, wit and his often painfully honest opinions during meetings. He was the first-time recipient of the Department of Maine Resources Award of Excellence. He was also the Southwest Harbor Clam Warden and chair of the Harbor Committee.
Andy's love of family, country and the water all came together when he built his boat, F/V Lost Airmen, named for his great uncle Louis "Bobby” Machovec and his crewmates who lost their lives when their B-17 went down in the North Sea in 1944. Andy worked tirelessly to learn the details of their service and to find and reunite the family members of the lost crew. The mission was completed in October 2017 when the last family was found. Andy delighted in speaking to WWII veterans and encouraging them to tell their stories, sometimes for the first time.
Andy is survived by his parents; his beloved wife of 19 years, Michelle (Dove) Mays; three children, Sylvester, Edmund and Stanislaus; two brothers, Henry Mays and wife Anna and Darrell Mays and wife Morgan, all of Vermont; three sisters, Eileen Hansen and husband Jeff of Kansas City, MO, Suzie Lowe and husband Wes, and Liz Harris and husband Dan, all of Vermont; a very beloved aunt, Nancy Pochyla and husband Morris of Merritt Island, FL; as well as many favorite nieces and nephews and a large extended family whom he adored spending time with and cooking lobsters for: his father and mother in-law, Bert and Helen Dove; brother-in-law, Matthew Dove and wife Anna Pryde; sister-in-law, Alisha Brady and husband Mal, all of New Zealand; and their children. Andy's circle of friends is too large to list; if you knew him, you were his friend. If you weren't his friend it was only because he hadn't met you yet.
Friends were invited to call from 5 to 7 p.m. with a Masonic service at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, at Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mt. Desert, ME. A Mass of Christian burial was held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 3, at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 21 Ledgelawn Ave, Bar Harbor, ME.
Spring interment will be at Mt. Height Cemetery, Southwest Harbor. In lieu of flowers Andy would love donations to The Jimmy Fund for Pediatric Cancer at Dana Farber, Boston, in honor of two special friends, Nathanial Stolle and Hudson Solder, who continue to fight childhood cancer.
Those who desire may make contributions to the Andy Mays Family Fund, c/o The First, P.O. Box 86, Southwest Harbor, ME 04609, that will be used for the education and support of his three sons.
Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.