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July 12, 2017

Peter G. Alfond remembered for 'his kind heart'

Political and business leaders in Maine are paying tribute to Peter G. Alfond, 65, son of Harold Alfond and Dorothy "Bibby" Alfond, who died Monday night of complications from malaria contracted on a trip to Africa.

The Associated Press reported his death Tuesday, noting that he had been a trustee of the Harold Alfond Foundation and founder of his own foundation to support educational, health-related and other charitable causes in Maine, New England and the Caribbean.

'Remembered for his kind heart'

Here are some of the tributes that were posted Tuesday as news of his untimely death became public:

Gregory W. Powell, chairman of Harold Alfond Foundation:

"It is with great sadness that the board of the Harold Alfond Foundation announces the passing of our fellow trustee, Peter Alfond. As a son of Harold Alfond, Peter was handpicked for the board in 2007 by his father and served as a trustee until his passing yesterday. His many contributions to the Foundation's work over the past decade are highlighted by his leadership on the boards or advisory groups of the Foundation's grantees, most notably MaineGeneral Health and the Alfond Youth Center. Through these roles and many others he had in Central Maine and beyond, Peter gained insights which were invaluable to the Foundation and its giving.

"A prominent philanthropist in his own right, Peter supported educational, health care and other charitable causes in Maine, New England, and the Caribbean through the Peter Alfond Foundation. His passion for alternative health care practices led his foundation to award $4 million to MaineGeneral Medical Center to establish and endow the Healthy Living Resource Center. The only program of its kind in the United States, the center focuses on healthy eating and cooking, physical movement, stress management, and mind-body therapies.

"Throughout his life, Peter was guided by lessons he learned through business. He was a retired senior executive of Dexter Shoe Co., where he was president of PanAm Shoe, the base of Dexter's Caribbean operations. His 30-year tenure was marked by many successes, but he was proudest of the strong relationships he formed with PanAm employees and of the company's economic investments in the Caribbean. In 2001, the town of Camuy, Puerto Rico, named a street after him in recognition of his contributions.

"Peter will be remembered for his philanthropy and his business success, but, even more so, he will be remembered for his many endearing personal qualities — his kindness, his creativity, his curiosity for the world, his passion for healthy living, and his love of his family, friends and the people of Central Maine. He was one of a kind, and will be greatly missed."

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine: "Like his father, Peter Alfond was an extraordinarily generous individual who gave back so much to Maine. Peter dedicated his life to improving the well being of others through his support of education, health care, and other laudable causes. His vision and good will for our state have left a rich and lasting legacy. Although Peter will be deeply missed, his passion, altruism, and dedication to the people of Maine will never be forgotten."

U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine: "Like so many others across Maine, I am saddened to learn of Peter's passing. His generosity, along with his never-ending passion for helping others, has fundamentally changed our state for the better. Peter will be remembered for his kind heart, his great philanthropy, and his unwavering commitment to the people of Maine, and while today we are poorer for his loss, we are ultimately stronger for his having been such an extraordinary friend to our state."

MaineHealth President Bill Caron: "We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Peter G. Alfond. In his role as a trustee of the Alfond Foundation, Peter lent his support to work we are doing to combat cancer in Maine through the MaineHealth Cancer Care Network. Through this effort and so many other philanthropic endeavors, Peter devoted himself to making the lives of Maine people better. While he had a special affinity for the Waterville community, Peter did not limit his vision or his ambitions for the betterment of us all. He will be greatly missed."

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