Edmund Ellis Doughty

CHEBEAGUE ISLAND - Edmund Ellis Doughty, 57, passed away on Nov. 28, 2015 at Maine Medical Center with his family at his side.

Ed, the son of Earle and Josephine Ellis Doughty, was born on April 2, 1958 in Madrid, Spain, where his father was a construction manager. The family moved to Chebeague, his father's childhood home, in 1960 and opened Doughty's Island Market in 1961. The store and the island were Ed's anchors. No matter where he travelled, Chebeague and the store brought him back home. In 1982, Ed took over management of the Island Market. In 1987, he married his long time love, Julie MacNeill, and together they operated the store continuing its legacy as a family business. He took great pride in his sons, Joshua and Dylan, with whom he shared his love of music and sports.

Ed attended the Chebeague Island School and graduated from Greely High School in 1976. At Greely he formed many life-long friendships and was active in track and field, holding a State record and played on the baseball team. He loved sports and spent hours watching the Patriots and the Red Sox with his family. He shared his love of sports with Dylan and was thrilled when Dylan's baseball team won the State Championship last June.

"Mr. Ed", as he was fondly known, had a life-long love of music, which he shared with his friends and family. He was so proud that his son, Josh, majored in music, and is a professional musician.
Ed liked nothing better than taking road trips with the boys to see live performances by their favorite bands. Over the years Ed formed personal connections with many professional musicians and had photos taken with folks such as David Crosby, Jackson Browne, James Taylor and numerous others. His connections helped many of his friends get back stage at concerts! Some of his favorite performers were Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, C.S.N., Neil Young, the Bryds, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and so many more. He was a music encyclopedia!

Ed also appreciated the natural world. He liked nothing more than spending time at his family camp "Tiekilew". He loved to get away to Burlington and watch the stars and planets and canoe through the great Maine woods and shared the camp with family and friends. He and his life-long friend, Mark Dyer, looked forward to their fall trips to the camp where they could enjoy the quiet and the solitude of an afternoon of canoeing on Saponac Lake and Madagascar Stream.

For many people, Ed Doughty was the face of Chebeague. Everyone was special to Mr. Ed, and he endeared himself to others by creating his own nickname for many folks! He enjoyed watching the children as they contemplated their purchases. Chebeague's many visitors appreciated his smile and greeting of "welcome home"! He was happiest when islanders would come in to the store to chat, catch-up on the news, listen to the latest music, or share a joke. His passing has left a void in the Chebeague community.

Edmund Doughty is survived by his wife, Julie; sons, Joshua and Dylan; and special nieces, Karly, Jodie, and Mindy Derby.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015 at Lindquist Funeral Home, One Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth

A celebration of Ed's life will be held on Saturday Dec. 5, 2015 at the Chebeague Island United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. followed by a graveside burial.

Family and friends are invited to share memories at the Chebeague Island Hall after the burial. Please visit www.lindquistfuneralhome.com to view a video collage of Ed's life and to share condolences, memories and tributes with his family.


Click here for the program from the Church Service.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to:
Chebeague Island Rescue
192 North Rd.
Chebeague Island, Maine 04017, or

Chebeague Island Hall
Community Center
247 South Rd,
Chebeague Island Maine 04017

Following is the eulogy written by Donna Damon:

Edmund Ellis Doughty Eulogy December 5, 2015

We have gathered here today to honor Edmund Ellis Doughty who was a friend to all of us and spent his life helping to sustain our community.

Many of you may not know that after World War II the Maine coast suffered an economic slump.  Lobster prices dropped to 13 cents.  Only about 10% of Chebeague’s vets came back to raise their families.  Chebeague had two grocery stores but Leonard’s closed during the winter and Brewer’s burned to the ground in January 1959.  The wharf was falling apart and there were only 4 trips to Portland a day.  Things were tough.

It was this chain of events that resulted in Ed’s father, Earle Doughty’s return to his boyhood home.  After serving in the Navy during WWII, he made a career for himself as an international construction manager, which is why Ed was born in Madrid, Spain.  Earle gave it all up and came home to do his part to invest in Chebeague’s future.  He knew that the island needed to have a store to survive as a viable year-round community.  In 1960 Earle brought Josephine, his southern born wife and 3-year-old Edmund to the Chebeague.  Edmund would eventually follow in his father’s footsteps and return to the island to run the store after spending several years travelling around the country in the music industry. During the ensuing years Ed and Julie have provided this essential service to Chebeague.

A community needs a gathering place, a place to buy staples,- a place like Cheers- where everybody knows your name!  As a person who has spent her entire life in a people oriented career – I cannot imagine having to be ON – 10 hours a day, 7 days a week in the summer when everyone else is on vacation – but that is just what Ed did – day after day- year after year. 

He was interviewed many times over the years.  In a 1996 interview he described the importance of Labor Day when he could take time away from the cash register to enjoy the ocean, his wife and son.  “It’s the best feeling in the world,” Ed said.  In a 1994 interview Ed told the reporter that his time away from the island helped him to discover how much the island was a part of him.  When asked about his customers he related that he used to know them all – but now there were more strangers.  When the reporter asked about a small plastic box on the counter, Ed replied, “Those are the customers that I know really well!” There are now 2 plastic boxes on the counter!
Although Ed never held public office, he had the pulse of the community.  Some reporters called him Chebeague’s unofficial mayor.  Ed didn’t need to leave the store to have an impact on what was happening, because the community brought their compliments and complaints; joys and sorrows to him.

One of Ed’s favorite media moments was the Great Pilot Cracker campaign.  Ed played an integral part in that effort.   We had a great time when we were invited to Boston to a news conference when Nabisco gave in.  Our 1-minute of fame continued when CBS Sunday Morning chose the story to highlight as part of its 20th anniversary!  That was a high point in Ed’s media interactions.

The store also brought Julie into Ed’s life.  When she was asked about how they got together she told me about hanging out at the store when she was on Chebeague – and one thing led to another!  While the store was important – Ed’s most significant legacies are his two sons, Josh and Dylan.  Ed loved spending time with the boys watching the Red Sox and Patriots on TV and taking them to concerts. Josh followed the music route, while Ed, who was a natural athlete, inspired Dylan to participate in athletics.  Dylan followed in his father’s footsteps and played baseball for Greely.  Ed was thrilled when Dylan’s team won the State Championship in June.

When Julie asked me to speak today I wondered if I was the right person.  I looked for a sign… and I got it at Wal-Mart - when the clerk rang up my dozen or so items and said that will be $50 even.  Really? Sure enough it was $50 even!    I took this as a sign that Ed was giving me permission to share some classic Ed Doughty stories!
One of my first memories of Ed was in the store. Mort, an African American who helped run the Island View was in the store.  He was the only black person we knew when we were growing up and everyone loved him!  After he left, Ed who was 3 or 4 said, ” “I really like that chocolate boy!” My father, Ellsworth Miller, was standing at the counter and said, “Josephine, you had better educate that child before you take him to Georgia to see your kin!”

I started babysitting for Ed shortly after the store opened.  I also took care of Helen Slowick, whose mother, Ruth worked in the store.  I got $3 a day - $1 for Helen and $2 for Ed – Need I say more?

Later I worked at the Lobster Pot Ice Cream parlor, which was attached to the store.  One day Joyce Boxer and I were working and Ed and Mike Robinson came in and wanted service.  I guess we didn’t meet their expectations because they started calling us Moose and Rat! (I was Moose!)  Little did I know that over the years Ed had his own names for almost everyone.  Rachel was always Racheous; Mike was Mitch – over the past few days I have heard so many that we should add a line in the Chebeague directory for Ed’s nicknames!

Many of you may not know that Ed started his musical career on the stage of the Hall as one of the Beatles!  He was about 6.  It was part of a double feature in which Milt Calder played the Great Big Billy Goat Gruff!

Ed grew up in a neighborhood of boys.  Those were the days when kids roamed the island finding adventure just as the dogs did!  I am sure that some of those pals will have great Edmund stories to share!

While Chebeague was his playground he had a second home at 9 Richardson Street in Portland.  Anyone who ever visited knows that it was a magical place – the home of Boxer, Leona and the seven Boxer brood.  Something was always happening there!  Ned was a little older than Ed and Donna a little younger – but they looked forward to his visits.  Ned has many wonderful memories of their escapades.  The Boxers lived on a quiet street in busy Deering Center.  On one visit when they were about 8 they ended up in forbidden land – on the opposite side of busy Stevens Ave! They wanted to buy Italian sandwiches but were ejected after Ed called the sandwich by a politically incorrect name!  It was the only time Ned was ever thrown out of the Quality Shop!
One time they went to the Drive- In, an exotic experience for island kids.  The boys fooled around during the first feature waiting for the Battle of the Bulge.  By this time the car was steamed up.  Ed kept asking for the windshield to be cleared.  No one listen. Finally, totally exasperated, he used his ingenuity and said,  “ Clear the window, Aunt Leona can’t see!”

Ned remembers the day when Jungle Jolly put the fear of God into all of the boys.  Apparently she had been plagued by some of the older kids, so she told the 8 year-olds that she worked for the government and had Gatling guns in her upstairs windows and was going to use them if they ever came around at night!  That stopped any thoughts they might have had of hell raising at that house!

Ned spent a lot of time on Chebeague so one day he and Ed went down to Chandlers Cove and met up with Victor Rich.  Victor wanted to go fishing so they grabbed a punt and rowed off into the Cove.  It wasn’t long before Victor caught a dogfish, which was a sand shark anywhere between 3-6 feet long with a big mouth of teeth!  They were fighters!  Victor hauled it in, and it practically filled the punt!  The monster thrashed and crashed.  I can attest to the seriousness of the situation having been in a similar situation many times myself!  Well, Victor picked up the hatchet that was in the bottom of the punt, and he went at the fish – chopping holes in the boat when he missed the fish!  Somehow Ed and Ned got the punt back to the float before the punt sunk – only to be met by the punt’s owner, their Uncle Calvin Doughty!  Needless to say Calvin wasn’t happy!

As Ed got older the antics became more adventurous. The night before the 4th was always a time when the hell raisers came out! In the middle of the night Ed and Ned decided to drag the frame of an old swing set into the middle of the road.  They were about 10!  It was about 2 PM when they heard a car coming.  It was David Burgess driving an old Chrysler that he bought from Binkie and it didn’t have any brakes.  All they could do was watch in horror - only to be left in shock as David drove right through the opening in the swing set - between the legs never touching the top or sides of the car!
Needless to say Edmund Doughty didn’t have a boring childhood!

Facebook has its benefits and over the past few days we have heard from folks around the world who share in our mourning.  We have seen wonderful photos showing the many aspects of Ed’s life from childhood photos to the MacNeill celebrations on Mitchell Road, as well as wedding and honeymoon pics - photos with Josh, Dylan, Julie; great ones with Jo, Earle, Minnie - the Derby girls who were so special to Ed – even Ed waterskiing - and touching photos such as Dylan kissing his dad.  If you haven’t looked at Facebook you will want to check out those shots from back in the day! 

Facebook posts have remembered Ed as a fun loving guy who led Dana Bragg’s school bus riders in singing - Jeremiah was a Bullfrog to the top of their lungs.  Classmate Carol Robinson remembers Ed as a Greely heartthrob.  He was the guy everyone girl wanted to notice her.  All of the girls had a crush on him!   But he was oblivious that all of the girls thought he was adorable!  Just another side of Ed!

In full disclosure I am one of those people who has a card in that little box on the counter! Everytime I left the store I would say, “Got that Ed?”  “Got it,” he would reply.  Well, one day the system backfired.  Rachel was 5 and Tom was 2 and a half.  Rachel cam rushing in… “It’s not my fault!”

“What isn’t your fault?”  Behind her came Tom with his arms full of gum and candy! “Where did you get that?” I asked. 

“Ed gave it to me,” he replied!  Well, it didn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that Tom had gone to the store and did just what he had seen me do so many times before!  He picked out what he wanted and then checked in with Ed to see if he had got it!   Well, I called the store and Ed started laughing.  With Tom listening, I became very serious … “Ed, Tom is very sorry  - please don’t be upset.” Ed kept laughing on his end, while I kept making sound like he was really mad.  I told him that we would be right up to return the loot!  I knew this had to be nipped in the bud! 1st Tom wasn’t supposed to be crossing the road at 2 and a half – it wasn’t safe and if he started charging at 2 and a half I would be bankrupt by the time he was 10!  Well, Tom was pretty contrite when he walked through the door, and although Ed played along, he could hardly keep a straight face!

That is the Ed I will always remember.  Trusting, kind and full of fun.  A good father, husband, and son – a neighbor you could count on – a mainstay of our community.