Winthrop Palmer Houghton Sr.

sunset by wink
Photo taken by Wink January 27, 2014

winkwithlobsterWinthrop Palmer Houghton Sr. died at his home on Chebeague Island on June 25, 2021. Born in Boston, Mass. on January 17, 1938 he was the second child of Dr. Clarence Winthrop and Viola Palmer Houghton.

Wink was one of the luckiest people you could ever meet. His life was filled with the achievements of his dreams. His early life was spent in Tewksbury, Mass. where he enjoyed a great deal of freedom. He had free reign to play on the state hospital farms and in the barns, went sliding on Misters Hill, and spent many a weekend with family in Walpole, NH. On moving to Concord, NH when in junior high, he youngwinkmade many new lifelong friends and in high school played basketball for Concord High. He played in Boston Garden where his team won the state Championship. He met the girl of his dreams, Ruthie Ferreira, at Concord High also. From Concord High he went on to Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, NH and then on to Boston University where he studied to become a Physical Education Teacher. Ruthie in the meantime was studying at Radcliffe and it is said that he wore out the Salt and Pepper Bridge traveling from Kenmore Square over to Cambridge to visit her. They soon married and had two sons, Winthrop Palmer Jr. and Theodore MacDonald.

Wink summered on Chebeague starting in 1944 and loved the island dearly. He taught at Biddeford High School in Southern Maine for over 30 years. He coached many sports there and was instrumental in establishing a Southern Maine gymnastics league. He led his gymnasts to many state championship titles and Ruth, who coached the girls, did the same. They were both much beloved by their gymnasts as well as the rest of the students they taught.

ruthandwinkWhen he retired in the late 1990's he and Ruth moved to the family house on Chebeague. He fulfilled a lifelong dream and started lobstering with Ruth often on the boat at his side.

He was an avid sportsman who loved hunting and fishing throughout his life and excelled at tennis in his younger days. And of course, he loved golf. He played golf constantly as a youth on Chebeague, often racking up 36 holes in a day with his friends. He went on to win at least five course championships and held the course record for many years. His dedication to the course extended to being very involved in maintaining the course and he headed the Greens Committee for many years.

Wink loved talking with everyone and spent many happy hours sitting on the front porch entertaining with friends and even passers-by. His last wish was to spend his final days here in his favorite place.

He was predeceased by his parents and oldest son Winkie, and leaves behind his beloved wife, Ruth, his sister Patricia Prescott, son Teddy, his grand-daughter Rebecca, his great grandchildren Julliette and Palmer, his daughter-in-law Patricia Rich, his step grandchildren Danielle Rideout and David Rich, and step great grandchildren Drea and Brian Rideout.

He was a very lucky man.

Wink and Ruth with their gymnastics team
Wink with his father Doc Houghton

Click on some of the photos to see them full size.