Geoffrey B. Torney

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  • "He was a lovely neighbor who kept a beautiful property."
    - Kerry Hadley
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ACTON - Mr. Geoffrey Torney died at The Lodges Care Center in Springvale on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012.

Mr. Torney was born in Boston on July 13, 1914, and was raised in Brookline, Mass., the older of two sons (brother Johnson d. 2004) of Dr. George H. Torney, a psychiatrist, and Anna (Wynkoop) Torney.

He received his high school diploma from Middlesex School in Concord, Mass., and a B.A. in History from Harvard University in 1937.

After college, he received a commission in the U.S. Navy Reserves, and went to work at the Bethlehem Steel Shipbuilding Division as an engineer during Word War II. After the war, he worked in hospitals, and attained a Master's degree in Hospital Administration from Yale University Medical School in 1950.

Mr. Torney moved to Rockland in 1960 as administrator of the old Knox Hospital, and resided in Maine ever since, living primarily in Owl's Head. He was instrumental in the consolidation, growth and modernization of the area medical facilities, today relocated to Rockport as the Penobscot Bay Medical Center.

Mr. Torney was a lifelong avid sailor. In the early 1920s, his family purchased a summer cottage on the water in Duxbury, Mass., where he learned to sail when he was ten years old. He spent the summers of his adolescence sailing along the Massachusetts coast and racing in the tidal Duxbury bog.

He joined the Rockland Yacht Club (RYC) shortly after moving to Maine, and it was there that he met his wife and love of his life, Virginia (d. 2005). They married in 1970 - the same year that she became the Commodore of the club - and spent their years sailing together, including overnight trips along the New England coast and to the outer islands, and, one year, most ambitiously, a trip from Maine to the Bahamas and back on their 30-foot Bristol yacht, "The Sanderling." For many years, the RYC's annual lobster picnic and meeting were held at Geoff and Ginny's house in Owl's Head, overlooking a spectacular view of Rockland harbor and the Camden hills beyond.

Mr. Torney was always physically active, first a downhill and then cross-country skier, and an avid golfer. He cared for his house and land himself, and spent many hours in his well-equipped wood shop. He was also an ardent reader, preferring nonfiction biographies and historical novels, and the daily New York Times.

Mr. Torney was a soft-spoken and generous man, of wonderful intelligence and perspective, with great humor and sharp wit. He loved a good pun or joke, a good story, and good conversation, and many counted him as a wonderful friend. His answer to the query "how are you?" was inevitably, and to the end, "as well as can be expected . . ."

Mr. Torney is survived by his nephew, Ian Torney, his wife, Donna, and their family, of Milton, Mass.; his niece, Anne Torney, and her husband, David Mar, of Berkeley, Calif.; his wife Virginia's two daughters, Elizabeth Mann, her husband, Robert, and their family, of Acton, and Sydney Richardson and her family, of Portland; four grandchildren; and seven great grandchildren.

Memorial services are pending at this time and will be held at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements are under the direction of Black Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, Sanford-Springvale. Condolences may be expressed at
Published in Fosters from Dec. 6 to Dec. 9, 2012
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