Peter Dow Clain, 72, loved Mérida until the end

Peter Dow Clain
Peter Dow Clain

Peter Dow Clain passed away in his beloved Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico home on Dec. 4 after valiantly enduring a long illness at the age of 72.

Peter was born in Swampscott, Massachusetts, on Nov. 9, 1948 to Philip L. Clain and Karen Dow Clain. He attended schools in Swampscott and graduated from Swampscott High School. He attended a post-graduate prep school year at Maine Central Institute, Pittsfield, Maine. Next, he attended the University of Maine, Orono where he majored in French and Spanish. He later got a Masters’s Degree in French. He had a life long tenure of teaching foreign languages at the secondary level. He taught at Sanford High School, Maine Central Institute, and for the most years at Bucksport High School.

Peter liked to joke that he had become a fixture at Bucksport. He was a popular Spanish teacher and directed drama as well. After retirement, he taught at John Bapst High School for a year, then in the local Bucksport schools. During summers he was active in many theater companies: The Ebb Tide Players in Searsport, The Penobscot Regional Theater and Shakespeare Festival, Bangor, Belfast Maskers, Assembled Players and Northport Music Theater.

Peter first wintered in Mérida 12 years ago before living here permanently. He was active in volunteering at the Mérida English Library, volunteer teaching of Spanish to adults at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and before that for Las Monjas RC Church in Merida.

He rescued four Yucateco cats and more than 20 in Maine, not all at the same time. He is survived by his husband and partner of 42 years, Richard Tourigny; a brother, Christopher and his wife, Mary Clain of Swampscott and nephews, Philp and Chris of same. He is also survived by Richard’s family members as well, Paul Tourigny, of Wells, Maine; Louise and Randy Reed of Brunswick, Maine; Jerry Tourigny, his wife Katya Zenko and nephews Andrei and Daniel of Scarborough, Maine; and Marilyn and Brian Long of Waxhaw, North Carolina and nephews, Jimmy Long of Charleston, South Carolina and Jake Long of Raleigh, North Carolina. Also cousins, Olivia and Dick Storey of Cornelius, North Carolina, Virginia and Rick Blaker of Southport, Connecticut; Hubbard Wells and Kornelia of Brewster, New York; Susan Clain of Manchester, Maine; and Brian Clain, John Clain and aunt Barbara Clain of Massachusetts. Also, cousins Jim Dow of Palos Verde, California and Valerie Dow of Berkeley, California; and a long list of friends, too numerous to name are left behind as well.

Peter was an avid gardener whose gardens were often included in home and garden tours to raise money for local charities. He leaves behind a legacy of having taught for more than 35 years and performing and directing many plays for the enjoyment of all and volunteering in other settings such as food banks, and taking groups of students and chaperones on numerous trips to Spain and Mexico and found in the 1980’s his favorite, Merida where he planned to retire and did.

Requests have been made on how to honor his memory. In Mérida, please donate to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church or the Mérida English Library, websites have the links for donations. A Peter Clain Kindness Fund will be established at Camden National Bank, Bucksport, Maine.