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Willauer, Charles Homer "Chip"
Died February 14, 2013. "Chip" was an accomplished sailor, interior designer, song master, family historian and inspirational leader of the Prouts Neck, Maine community. Born in Boston in 1938, Willauer was a longtime resident of Beacon Hill, the son of the late Arthur Osborne Willauer and wife, the late Alice Lowell Homer. Willauer attended The Noble and Greenough School (class of 1954) and Princeton University (class of 1959). Chip's talent for design led to an apprenticeship with the interior decorating company Roach & Craven in 1960. He later acquired the company and spent the next 45 years turning countless houses into homes. Chip's attention to detail-whether setting a table, tying a bow tie, choosing a fabric, hanging a picture or writing a thank you note-was one of his trademarks. An avid sailor, he and his brother Peter were finalists for three years in the National Junior Sailing Championship. He served as Commodore of the Prouts Neck Yacht Club, President of the Prouts Neck Association, and Warden of St. James Church. During World War II, Chip's grandfather Charles Lowell Homer started a tradition of weekly 'sings' to bring the Prouts Neck community together when the blackout shades were drawn. Chip took over as song master at age 17 and led the community, every Sunday night, for 57 years. Under Chip's leadership, these sings have brought joy to generations of summer residents and friends. Chip was the great grand nephew of celebrated American landscape artist Winslow Homer, who lived and painted at his studio in Prouts Neck. After Homer died, the studio passed through family members until it was acquired by Chip, who lived in the studio every summer. Concerned about the preservation of this historic structure, Chip sold the studio to the Portland Museum of Art in 2006. The PMA subsequently conducted a restoration of the studio to its original condition, which was completed in September 2012. He is survived by his brothers Peter Willauer and wife, Carol, of Bristol, RI; Bradford Willauer and wife, Ann, of Prouts Neck, ME; nephews Charles Willauer and wife, Gale, of Duxbury, MA; David Willauer and wife, Cathleen, of Annapolis, MD; Langley Willauer of Hope, ME, Benjamin Willauer and wife, Amanda, of Freeport, ME; nieces Margaret Willauer-Tobey and husband, Tom Tobey, of Brunswick, Maine, and Victoria Willauer and husband Tony Fitch of Owls Head, ME; as well as 14 grand nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Portland, ME at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 24 (Winslow Homer's birthday). A summer service will be held at Prouts Neck in July. Contributions may be made to the St. James Church, The Cathedral Church of St. Luke, or the Winslow Homer Studio Endowment Fund at the Portland Museum of Art.

Published in The Boston Globe on Feb. 17, 2013
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