Renaissance Man Sturgis Haskins Dies at 72



Sturgis Haskins of Sorrento, a Renaissance man who leaves behind legions of devoted friends, died suddenly Sept. 29.

SORRENTO — Sturgis Haskins, an avid sailor, historian and adventurer with an eclectic collection of loving friends, died suddenly Sept. 29 at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor of an aortic aneurism. He was 72.

Family members said Haskins was told before his emergency surgery that the outcome was uncertain and the procedure difficult and long.

Asked by the surgeon if he had any questions, Haskins reportedly said: “You must not fail, and if you fail, I want a big monument.”

Friends said Haskins had unbridled enthusiasm for whatever currently gripped his interest — whether it was croquet or rug hooking — in addition to his lifelong passion for sailing, tennis and local and architectural history.

Haskins appeared on the cover of Puckerbrush Review, a literary magazine edited by longtime friend and writer Sandy Phippen, in his croquet whites.

Overshadowing his many interests, however, was his devotion and loyalty to his friends.

“He was just caring and so earnest,” said Ruth Moss of Sorrento, who enjoyed a 40-year friendship with Haskins. “He understood the science of friendship. It’s like a great big hole in my heart.”

Phippen, of Hancock, will deliver Haskins’ eulogy at 1 p.m. Oct. 4 at Bradgon-Kelley Funeral Home in Ellsworth. He said the two had spoken every day for the last decade.

“The key to our relationship was humor,” Phippen said. “We loved to make each other laugh, the drive off the side of the road kind of laughing.”

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