Frank C. (Papa Sonny) Witham Jr (76) originally of Munjoy Hill Portland, Maine was called home in the presence of his family at Maine Medical Center December 3rd 2021.
The son of Barbara G. Eaton and Frank C. Witham Sr. Sonny was born August 19, 1945 and grew up in Portland, was a proud Munjoy Hill Boy and attended Portland schools. Quite the athlete in school Sonny earned his wings running indoor track, swimming, and was a tough lefty on the mound playing baseball. His love of sports lead him into coaching where he lead the Mancini little league team to several winless records. His Bad News Bears included all the kids who didn’t get picked for other teams but Sonny wanted every kid to have the chance to enjoy the game.
Papa Sonny enlisted in the Navy January 26, 1965, and served in Vietnam as a B2 engineer aboard the USS Boxer. He attended boot camp in Illinois near the Great Lakes with his life long best friend and brother from another mother Charlie Fortin. Often mistaken as twins Sonny and Charlie look alike, talk alike, walk alike, and share tremendous love and devotion to their families. Sonny was also joined in Vietnam with another life long friend Mike Taber.
That’s who Papa Sonny was, he always wanted everyone involved and having fun. His infectious smile, warming blue eyes and jolly demeanor made him the man who never met a stranger.
After the navy Papa Sonny earned his living working at Cushman’s Bakery, Nissens Bakery, becoming a labor union supervisor at Maine Yankee, and on to BIW. In retirement Sonny went into business for himself recycling metals, and working with his son Brian in the plumbing trade.
Sonny loved being outdoors and in nature. He enjoyed swimming, hunting, fishing, camping. Moreover he enjoyed sharing these experiences with his family. His many many grand and great grandchildren loved going to Papa Sonny’s house on the water where he’d take them to do all the outdoor things that he loved so much, including taking them on 4 wheeler rides. Sonny also had a fondness for amusement parks which made him a favorite amongst the kids who needed an adult to get on the big kid rides. Papa loved to travel and was a long time Florida snowbird. He loved being on the road, just recently he spent a couple of weeks road tripping back from Florida with his daughter Laurie. They stopped and stayed in campgrounds in several states exploring on their way home to Maine. Joining them on this trip was Papa’s constant companion Petey, his rescue dog that was Sonny’s shadow and loved immensely by Papa.
Sonny was predeceased by his parents Barbara Eaton and Frank Sr., his wife Mary Witham, his sister Judith Doughty, and his brother’s David and Fred Lorfano.
He is survived by his children Brian Witham, Laurie (Witham) Clarke, Alicia Witham, Andrea Dudley, and Christopher Newman. He is also survived by so many grandchildren and great grandchildren, his beloved dog Petey, and everyone who was blessed to meet Papa Sonny. He left a long-lasting impression on every single person he met.
A Time of Sharing & Remembering will be from 5-8 PM on Friday December 17,2021 at A.T. Hutchins Funeral Home, 660 Brighton Avenue. Masks will be required.