Mechanic 05

Thomas Hale Colby

October 30, 1941 ~ March 21, 2020 (age 78)


On Saturday, March 21, 2020 Thomas Hale Colby, of Cumberland, ME passed away peacefully at age 78, surrounded by Charlotte, his loving wife of 54 years, and their children. Tom was born in Portland, ME on October 30, 1941 and grew up with five siblings. He was a caring, dedicated family man and a hard worker, having been a skilled machinist and manufacturer at Freeport Shoe, Songo Shoe, Herman Shoe, and finally at L.L. Bean where he worked for 22 years before retiring in 2003. He worked alongside Charlotte for many of those years. Tom met Charlotte at Cole Farms in Gray, where she waited tables. The first night they met, Tom told his mother he was going to marry Charlotte and he did. They happily celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at Cole Farms, right where they started, with family and friends in 2014. Their immense love for each other was admired by all who knew them. 

Tom was an avid woodworker, having spent countless hours in his workshop on home repairs and building toys for his grandchildren. He ran a family business, Tool Time, making and selling miniatures and traveling to trade shows for several years. Well-known and respected for his engineering and automation skills, Tom was able to build or repair anything, solve any problem he encountered, and make improvements to work production. He loved music, dancing, basket weaving, camping with friends and family, hosting weenie roasts in the backyard, going to family reunions, playing card games – especially cribbage, going on cruises, and making people laugh. Most recently, he enjoyed watching cooking programs and rug hooking. Tom did everything with a twinkle in his eye and his happiness and zest for life was contagious. He will be greatly missed and forever loved. 

Tom was pre-deceased by his father Clifford L. Colby, mother Fleda Colby, sister Donna Goodreau, and beloved granddaughter, Gretchen Pelletier. He is survived by his wife Charlotte A. Colby of Cumberland, ME, son Thomas Hale Colby II and his wife Kathryn Colby and their children Lucas Colby and Simone Colby of Cumberland, ME, daughter Fleda Pelletier and her husband Mark Pelletier and their daughter Grace Pelletier of Windham, ME his brother Clifford “Sonny” Colby and his wife Beverly, brother William Colby and his wife Joy, Sister Goldie Bundy, sister Robin Betterley and her husband Shawn , many nieces and nephews, and extended family.   

In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Tom’s name to the Cumberland Food Pantry or Cumberland Fire Department, a celebration of life will be held later this summer. 


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